morning we were near
Late afternoon Bob decided that we could measure the salinity of the thirty samples from the three CTD casts. First we had to calibrate the instrument, using two different samples of “standard seawater.” Then we started the measurements. Salinity is measured by measuring conductivity at a well-controlled temperature. We hooked each bottle to the device, flushed the sample water through the instrument three times, then made at least three separate measurements, flushing after each one. Then on to the next. It took two hours and nicely filled the time before dinner. During this time Bob got called out to the bridge to negotiate a big change in the schedule for the rest of the trip.
group was doing a CTD cast in the hole that is the deepest spot around. The change of plans called for us to finish
the cast, put out the three remaining Solo drifters in a certain pattern, and
steam back to C1 Monday night. Tuesday
we would have the entire day for dragging for the rest of C1. Then we would spend several days moseying up
the inland passage looking for whales. Before going to
Palmer we will actually go way far north to try to get the SIO acoustic mooring
S1A that we didn't try for on the way down due to rough conditions. Then to Palmer, and then
home to PA, with another opportunity for S1A. The whale group decided that they had seen
enough of the south end of
the night on our way to C1, some combination of Rick, Bob, and Dick got up
three times to put out the rest of the Solo drifters in the newly chosen
positions. In the morning we awoke to find ourselves
parked at C1 facing east, having taken most of the night to get here. In spite of
a cloudy sky, visibility was outstanding.
Midmorning Rudy brought up a plateful of apple-filled sticky buns hot out of the oven. These were a welcome treat.
We had no luck cutting the mooring Tuesday morning, so the cable was brought back on board. Dick and the Captain conferred about a new strategy for the afternoon. Instead of trying to completely wrap the cable around the mooring, we put a hook at the very end and try a glancing approach to see if we could snag it in passing. There was some discussion about how to keep the hook from being yanked off the end of the cable. I hadn't realized that for dragging operations we use the ship's winch and cable, which are located on the 01 deck, rather than the mooring winch on the main deck.
The ship laid out a lot of cable in a straight line, with the two hooks spaced apart at the end, a depressor weight, and a pinger. Finally, they started changing direction to try to sweep the hooks past the mooring. Bob and Scott were in the computer lab, where the ship's TV monitor was showing the amount of cable out, the winch speed, the winch tension, the water depth and the height of the pinger above the bottom. Jason and Zan were on the bridge, ready to look, and I was sitting in Bob's office, near the stern on the port side of level 01. Just after the change of watch at 1600, there was a terrible thump. Shortly afterwards, a group of crew and staff went charging by to the 01 deck. Then they came back in the other direction. I went up to the bridge to find out that the tension in the cable had spiked at over 14,000 pounds and the main winch had sheared off its pad and slid sternward at least ten feet on the 01 deck, somewhat squashing one of the Zodiacs and breaking two hydraulic lines, so the deck was covered with hydraulic fluid. The mate quickly stopped the ship and the tension was reduced to a few thousand pounds. Next they used a torch to cut the cable close to the winch. That done, the spill is being contained and the winch secured to the deck. I guess the ocean just didn't want to give up C1. We went back over the spot to query the release mechanism to see if it is still standing or on its side. It was still there.
important thing is that no one was hurt. We are hoping that the Zodiac is okay
and that Zodiac operations will not be curtailed because of only having one
operational boat. Now it is Wednesday morning, we are in a beautiful channel