Thursday, March 8, 2012

March 8th, Busy Days

Well yesterday and today were extremely busy, which meant no blog update last night.  We have been working around the tides since they are a major component of our study here.  As the tides come in and go out they can only move through certain parts of the reef or over the barrier reef, which create fast moving areas of water in certain areas. We are interested in how this water moves over the reef and through these channels during these tidal swings.  It is also a full moon right now, which means the tides are at their maximum level, and that the fish are spawning right now.  As a result we are trying to accomplish several things, which means an early start and a late ending to the days.

Mark and I got to retrieve our wave and current sensor yesterday, which we put out last year.  This is always a nervous moment, because we want the sensor to be there and we want it to have data on it.  We also spent time collecting other water level and wave sensors with the rest of the group and testing a sensor that tells us the water speed and direction from the boat that we are using.  It was a really good day because we got to go diving and spend a lot of time under the water yesterday.

I was up late last night making a cable, which consists of soldering wires together and then making it water proof so that it can be deployed underwater.  We got to use it this morning when we were sampling the optical properties of the water in a couple interesting areas (this tells us what is floating in the water, i.e. sediment, phytoplankton, etc), while the Scripps group deployed their REMUS (underwater robot) to look at the fish spawning event.

It has been a crazy couple of days and I am amazed at how much we have accomplished after being here almost a week.

Good night.
Doggie on the optical package.

Mark and Ian lifting the wave and current sensor off the bottom

Wave and current sensor on the deck covered with ocean life.

The crew heading back to the lab.

Ian playing in waves crashing over the front of the boat.

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