Kate Kouba here on the R/V Endeavor as a UNOLS volunteer from Portland State University. It has been a wonderful trip so far filled with good weather, bad weather, laughs, and a whole lot of hard work. Everyone has seem to fall into a rhythm which makes it not even seem like hard work. We all are sharing our personal tales at sea, struggles with our undergrad degrees, and the search for the next big move in our careers. I have been enjoying my routine aboard the R/V Endeavor as I have the first MMO (marine mammal watch) of the day, which I believe I mentioned in my last post. I am blessed with a beautiful sunrise each day (figure 1) and the anticipation of spotting the lander.
Today was especially exciting as there were some dolphins riding the bow as the sun rose over the horizon. Just as I was walking on to the bridge, AB John Mayne (AB stands for Able Bodied Seaman) turned to come down to tell the science party that the dolphins were there. We quickly went outside to get a proper ID on the species, we believe they were bottlenose, and collect other data like how many there were and roughly their size. Phew! It was a rush of excitement that put a smile on everyone’s faceJ.
Then it was time to release a lander. Once Carmen Lawrence from JASCO sends the signal from a transducer, we had roughly 10min before it broke the surface. Everyone spread out and began scanning the surface of the water looking for specs of orange in the white cap swell. I was scanning the port side as the current was strong and Chief Mate Chris Armanetti had an inkling that’s where it would end up and BAM! He was right, and I spotted it just off the port side bow. After some maneuvering of the ship and steady hands of the deck crew and science team the lander was back on board. All that excitement before breakfast!! Now it’s time to hit the galley and have some of Mike Duffy’s wonderful cooking. We all have to refuel before we redeploy the lander.