Monday 11 June 2012
This morning I had the distinctly nautical experience of waking up to the sound of a nearby foghorn, as the Henry Bigelow worked its way through thick fog. “Welcome to Georges Bank in June!” it seemed to be saying.
After returning to Newport, Rhode Island last Wednesday for some modifications to the propeller shaft bearing, we sailed again on Saturday morning at 0845 to finish what sampling we could in the time remaining for this survey. Georges Bank was next on our list of survey areas to be visited, and with a favorable weather forecast for the coming week we headed out for it. We won’t have enough time to reach every station planned on, but are making good enough progress that we will be able to reach more than two thirds of the stations before returning to our home port. The Gulf of Maine will unfortunately have to wait until our Summer Survey.
Now, at 7 PM we are crossing Georges Canyon as we work our way east towards the northeast peak, with the goal of reaching the Northeast Channel where we’ll deploy a CTD 911/rosette water sampler. We were able to do a couple of extra tows at two stations in stratum 29 , an area on the southeast corner of Georges Bank known for yellowtail flounder larvae at this time of year and we did catch numbers of flatfish larvae at one of them.
We have been monitoring our ship’s propeller shaft bearing during the cruise as well. The engineers took a couple of hours to open the housing, check for wear, and change the oil on it. Although running cooler than earlier in the cruise, it is still making noise and fouling its oil with fine metal particles, not good signs for its long term health!
For now we are able to continue working and at our bearing-safe speed of ten knots will be able to capture a glimpse, if not a full view, of the biology and hydrography of Georges Bank for June 2012, to add to our long-term database. This hasn’t been the cruise we were hoping for given the mechanical issues the ship has been facing, but everyone on board has gone out of their way to help us make the best of it, and that is greatly appreciated!
HB 12-02 Ecosystem Monitoring Survey