LMG03-02 Weekly Cruise Report  

16 February 2003

The RV Laurence M. Gould (LMG) left
Punta Arenas at 2400 (Local Time = GMT-3) on Wednesday (2/12) for the start of the 2003 Southern Ocean GLOBEC mooring cruise (LMG03-02). This cruise was scheduled to leave Wednesday morning, but our loading was delayed due to high winds. Sustained 30-45 knot winds with gusts up to 60 knots on Tuesday caused the Chilean Navy to close the dock for the entire day, which prevented us from moving equipment and supplies to the ship from the Agunsa warehouse by truck. A brief drop in winds allowed us to load some supplies between 0830 to 0930 on Wednesday morning before the winds strengthened up to 30-40 knots and the Navy closed the dock. Fortunately a Navy ship needed to dock Wednesday at 1800 so the dock was opened then. With everyone helping, we completed the loading by 2300, and the ship ready to sail at midnight.

The LMG entered the
Drake Passage on Friday (2/14) and started the cross-strait ADCP section. Two AMOL/NOAA satellite-tracked drifters were deployed at 59S and 60S on Saturday (2/15) along the cross-strait section. The wind and seas increased as the LMG moved south, making the ride a bit rough.

The LMG arrived at the first SIO bio-acoustic mooring S1A at 0330 Sunday (2/16). Conditions were too rough to attempt a recovery at first light at 0500.  The SIO group talked with the mooring and confirmed that it was working and still at its deployment site and dropped 5 weighted lightbulbs at different ranges from the mooring to check its sensitivity and range.  Then the LMG continued towards the
Gerlache Strait with the hope to finding whales in the more protected inner passages.  The LMG entered Gerlache Strait around 1700, and steamed to its southern end until about 2200 when the LMG started to keep station. A number of humpback whales and one minke whale were seen along the Strait, and several sonobouys deployed to listen for the whales.

The LMG should arrive at Palmer Station tomorrow (Monday, 2/17) morning at 0800.  Our plan is to off load the Palmer Station equipment and supplies as fast as we can during the morning and be ready to sail in the early afternoon.

Bob Beardsley
Chief Scientist