Cruise Blog by Frances Cooke: Day 7
July 13th, 2021
Text and photo: Frances Cooke (PhD Candidate in the Gas Hydrates and Free Gas Reservoirs research group at CAGE, working within the SEAMSTRESS project).
If it’s not a strong wind preventing the recovery of the OBS it’s poor visibility. We stopped the recovery of the OBS late in the night due to fog, and deployed the seismic in the early hours, ready to go at 01:30. We repeated a seismic line that was shot in bad weather from the day before. This time the line started with fairly low winds (9m/s) and then the wind picked back up midway through. When the line was completed, we had to recover the seismic to transit to the start of the next line. It is a lot of work taking the seismic equipment in and out, but we are unable to transit between lines at a good speed with the equipment in the water. Time is everything when working at sea.
We (the night shift) were let off bringing the seismic back in for the second time in the night. The day shift took over and completed the second seismic line of the day (Line 5). We managed to recover two OBS before lunch, and another at 16:00. All the OBS recoveries went smoothly, and we were joined by a pod of dolphins at 17:40 during OBS # 3 and large number of puffins, in flight circling around the ship. They are the fastest flying birds I have ever seen at sea. They don’t appear to conserve any energy while flying. They look like they are going somewhere in a hurry, and it is almost impossible (using my compact camera) to get a good picture of them.
It took a little longer than usual to spot OBS # 3. Conditions never seem to be completely perfect for the job! This time the glare on the water made spotting the OBS difficult. Przemek was the only one wearing sunglasses, and was able to strain his eyes to spot the OBS some 300-400 metres away from the ship. What made it even more difficult to spot was that the flag was lying flat against the water, instead of upright.
Between OBS sites 3 and 9 we transited for an hour. This was a good opportunity to eat the freshly prepared doughnuts left in the mess. What a treat!
We successfully recovered OBS # 9, and there were hopes to recover the last OBS left on the sea floor, but the fog returned. The day shift OBS team, were exhausted after such a successful day of OBS recoveries and went straight to bed.
Andreia watches out for the (not so obvious) OBS near the ship.
The view of the OBS drifting by, moments before catching it, using a hook thrown out to the line to pull it in.
Mechita and Andreia assist with the winch operation as the OBS lifts out of the water.
Read more about the SEAMSTRESS project here.