We left the Seward port today (July 11th) at 08:00 local time and are now on a boat…with our flippy-floppys on (okay not really, this is Alaska). It will take ~40 hours to arrive at our first ocean-bottom seismometer deployment site (track our progress here: https://www.sikuliaq.alaska.edu/track). In the meantime, we are able to enjoy the beautiful weather and views in Resurrection Bay! Marine life and glaciers anyone?
While in transit to the first OBS location, we had a safety drill. We learned how to properly put on immersion suits and life jackets, about different types of fires, and how to evacuate the ship in case of an emergency (quickly – the guy behind you wants to get off even more than you!). The safety training was thorough – the Sikuliaq crew takes safety very seriously – yet fun. For the shorter people (guilty), the immersion suits look very Oompa Loompa-esque. But survival, not flattery, is the order of the day. The most important takeaways: this ship is trying to kill you and you don’t want to be the weakest person on the lifeboat. On that note, the gym onboard is fantastic! Almost as good as the food (oh yes, there was cheesecake for dessert tonight).
We have a tight schedule but were able to make a short pit-stop for a CTD (Conductivity, Temperature and Depth) measurement at the Gulf of Alaska (GAK) station this morning. This is the oldest CTD station in the northern Pacific! It’s great to contribute to this historic dataset.
We have had good weather and 4-5 ft swells so far. We expect a storm and rough waters this weekend, but nothing some crackers, ginger ale and stubbornness can’t handle!
Next time – first OBS deployment! Here’s to smooth sailing!