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2002 Daily Log

08/08/02 - Waiting out the storm

This morning we awoke to the sight of land! We had sailed west to find a buffer from the rough seas. We came within four miles of the coast. Some folks used their cellular phones to call home and let their families know that we were safe. We have been waiting to see what effect Tropical Storm Christobal and the northeastern winds will have on our expedition. After discussion between the scientists and the captain, we decided to head north towards Cape Lookout. We hope to find calm seas tomorrow and then slowly begin to make our way south. This location will put us close to our next research area—the Lophelia Banks. As of 5:08 pm today, we were at 34 degrees 03 minutes North and 77 degrees 21 minutes West.

So much of life at sea is weather dependent. We watch weather updates on the television and read what comes to the bridge from the NOAA office. This information helps us determine our next course of action. No one wants to be out in 25-30 foot seas! It is frustrating to have to delay our work. Someone equated it to saving all year for a vacation and then having it rain the first three days. It is ironic that the sky is a clear blue and the seas are a teal green, but the swells and threat of bad weather prevent further work.

Today provided an opportunity to take pictures. We spent time on the bridge speaking with the second mate and learning how to chart a course both manually and electronically. Alan spent some time learning about remote sensing. He will be bringing a broken sensor back to his classroom to share with his students.

Meals have become the way we mark our time as we steam towards our next destination. Breakfast this morning included a potato frittata and lunch was fish and chips. Dinner looks like it might be steak and portobello mushrooms. Everyone is grateful for the skills of the cook and her assistant. They are keeping us happy as we wait to begin our research again.

Hopefully tomorrow will provide good research weather.

08/08/02 - No data

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