Monday, May 13, 2019

CHS Ne-mer in the warm and strong Agulhas - by isa R.

Last stations, in the very warm waters of the Agulhas Current, the poleward western boundary current on the southwest side of the Indian Ocean. It's a wild current! The speed is so strong (about 2 m/s!) that I'm impressed by how the mates are able to keep the ship in position during the casts!

Me and Melissa ready to deploy CHS Ne-mer (sooo warm!!). Ph. by K. Jackson
The SOCCOM Navis float #0889 marked the end of all the deployments along this adventurous I06S line. The float, called CHS Ne-mer from the Cienega High School in Arizona, was named after the school and the Principal (Nemer), who is a great supporter of the science department. Yay Science!!! On May 10, at 11:15 (UTC) and 35S-30E, CHS Ne-mer started its journey in these waaaaaarm waters (a bit of envy from all of us.. as we dream about swimming in the ocean). From the excitement for the last deployment, and the desire to be part of this great adventure, we took the liberty to sign the back of the float (I hope the the CHS will appreciate it..).

Kayleen, me, Ben, CHS Ne-mer, Melissa, Mike and Jess (ph. by K. Jackson)

The weather is great, we can finally spend some time outside at night, looking at the mesmerizing sky, wandering through the stars of the milky way, while searching for some shooting stars. The sunrises and sunsets have been spectacular, gifting us with some intense shades of gold and pink, over cotton clouds.

Yesterday morning, Max rescued me from my almost 10 hours working on the computer. I really needed to go outside and get some fresh air, as my eyes were burning and my head was spinning. As we were laying on the hammocks chatting and enjoying some sun, 3rd mate Todd called us from the bridge: whales! Forward! Starboard! And there we went, up on top of the bow. …First we saw the nose, then the unequivocal shape of the dorsal fin: I had dreamed about seeing them for so long, and I could not contain the happiness inside me. So I screamed. "You'll scare them away!" he says. But my heart was so full of joy I didn't listen. So I screamed again. 2 orcas were in front of our eyes! Beautifully shaped, as black as night. Proud and intelligent creatures of the infinite seas..

For lunch, some of us gathered at the bow, to enjoy the beautiful and warm sun, a chat, laughs, some playful games, some music played by the incredibly skilled Zac and Max, and photos, many, to freeze that moment of happiness, of those companions of who shared this adventure with me, conscious that soon it will be over. Sadness wraps around my heart, as I think about how soon we will give each other a farewell. But I know it won't be for long or forever, as special bonds never fade…

Splash by the bow

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Alan the krill in the Agulhas - by Melissa M.

SOCCOM stands for Southern Ocean Carbon and Climate Observations and Modeling, so it makes sense that most of the seven floats deployed ...