Back in business!

Monday, November 7, was a turning point for the Ecosystem Monitoring cruise aboard the Delaware II. The outboard motor for our rescue boat was repaired and returned, the weather in the Cape Hatteras area improved dramatically, and the Delaware II returned to sea late in the afternoon.

Outboard motor returns to the ship after repairs

Rescue boat outboard motor being returned to the Delaware II from the repair shop in Virginia. (Credit Jerry Prezioso, NEFSC/NOAA)

Taking advantage of the diminishing seas, we were able to sample three out of five of our southernmost stations, plus an additional station for collecting Gulf Stream water for the Smithsonian Institution.

fILLING JUG WUTH WATER SAMPLE

Collecting a jug of Gulf Stream water for the Smithsonian Institution from our seawater flow-through system in the wet lab of the Delaware II. (Credit: Tamara Holzwarth-Davis, NEFSC/NOAA)

We also collected deep shelf-slope water for stable nitrogen and carbon isotope studies being done in conjunction with the EPA and the URI Graduate School of Oceanography.

morning rosette cast from the DEII

A morning rosette cast from the Delaware II. (Credit: Jerry Prezioso, NEFSC/NOAA)

Steadily improving weather has enabled us to be able to do two sunrise rosette water casts since we left the dock in Little Creek, Virginia. This has kept our scientist representing the CliVEC (Climate Variability on the East Coast) program very busy.

Scientist takes samples in lab

CliVEC Program researcher Cory Staryk measuring oxygen levels in incubated seawater samples taken from various depths. (Photo by Jerry Prezioso, NEFSC/NOAA)

We are now working our way north about 30 nautical miles offshore of the New Jersey coast. Our hope is to be able to reach Southern New England waters by Thursday night ( November 10).  If we can get there ahead of a low pressure system forecast to hit us before the end of the week, we may be able to continue working. If not, we have a couple of options; either stopping work but staying on location if the weather is not too severe, or heading for shelter closer inshore if the forecast calls for more dire conditions. Right now we have a good forecast for the next 24 hours and so the command, crew and scientists are doing their best
to move us along.

We’ll know better what our strategy will be by the next update.

Jerry Prezioso
Chief Scientist
DE 11-09 EcoMon/CliVEC cruise

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