Q: Does the tropical storm stirring off the coast of Florida worry you? What precautions have you taken in case the seas become rough?
A: The tropical storm off the Florida coast is a concern. We are glad that it is moving away from our study sites. We get regular updates from the weather service that let us know the wind speed and direction, and the state of the seas. When we can tell we are heading for rough weather, we tie everything down and add extra lines to secure the equipment in the labs and in our cabins. We continue to monitor the weather and will choose to come closer to shore (which is what we did) or to move out of the path of the storm. We also keep the boat heading either into, or directly away from, the seas, instead of beam to the sea. Heading into or away from the seas means that the boat has a tendency to go up and down rather than side to side. If we were in a bad storm and were beam to the sea, a big wave could wash right over us.