10/29/05 - Still waiting
The seas have been relentless; we've lost four more dives to bad weather, but we have it much easier than some seafarers. On Thursday, while at our furthest site from land-the Stetson Banks-some warblers found refuge, albeit temporary, on our ship. It's hard to imagine the strength of such small birds as they navigate the winds of chance to their migration destinations. One puffy ball of yellowish-green feathers found its way into the wet lab. After many fruitless attempts to catch the small bird, we finally cornered it under a colander and returned it to the blustery outdoors. Yesterday, while MT and Doni went outside to get some fresh air, a juvenile spotted dolphin dove in and out of the crashing waves barely ten feet off the ship's starboard side!
The forecast is for continued high winds and high seas through Sunday. A quick check on one of the ship's computers showed current winds at 23.4 knots. We moved in to shallower waters last night and have remained here, just off the coast of Florida. The down time has allowed scientists to get caught up with much of their writing and transcribing. Talk centers around the different organisms caught, previous and current research, and the ramifications of moving to new sites and dealing with time delays that the winds and seas have imposed on the mission. Having been in worse situations than this, the sub crew has been taking everything in stride. Like the rest of us, they are anxious to get back underway and to resume diving, but from their vast experience, they know that it is only a matter of time before things fall back into place.
MT and Doni have been using this unexpected time off to learn as much as possible about others' responsibilities on the ship. The cruise is a collaboration of multiple groups and individuals who work together like a well-oiled machine. Just like fine-tuned systems, each component is an essential part of the overall success of the operation. It is a fascinating process to witness. The science, ship, and sub crews are truly an awe-inspiring group of people to watch as they perform their specific jobs.
10/29/05 - No Data
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