December 6, 2008
Today was the first day of the deployment of some of the scientific instruments that go overboard to gather water samples usually with the use of the CTD. Each member of the science crew received a tutorial on how to deploy the CTD over the starboard side of the boat. The CTD is pictured on the December 5 journal with an explanation of its use aboard. Dr. Balch or Barney as most people call him is the lead scientist aboard the ship and the principal investigating scientist. Barney has figured out a schedule on board the REVELLE, with shifts of 12 hours on and 12 hours off. One shift will begin at midnight and end at noon where the other shift will pick up until the following midnight. I am working the noon to midnight shift so that I can keep in closer contacts with my students back in Oklahoma. We hope to have a Skype conference call with them early next week. CTD deployment happens over and over again. The ship will move every 3-4 hours and another deployment will begin. There is usually a lot of activity when the CTD is brought back onboard as each group of scientist line up for their portion of water. The amount of water given to each lab has been carefully portioned so that there is enough to go around.
Off the fantail of the ship Dave Drapeau and Dr. William Balch deploy the OCP (Ocean Color Profiler) which measures the amount of sunlight going into the ocean and the amount being reflected back known as downwelling and upwelling radiance, which caused by the scattering of the light in the ocean. The ocean looks blue because red light is absorbed and the blue light is scattered, much like our atmosphere, which also has water vapor in it. The deployment happens around 1:30 pm, that is when the sun is highest in the sky (solar noon).
For the first time in my life I can look 360° and see nothing but water, quite a sight to behold. The seas are lifting the ship a little, a few people look a little pale, but most seem to be riding the waves with little discomfort. The sunsets are terrific and seem to last longer than I am accustomed to, as you can the sun completely disappear over the western horizon. I can hardly wait to see the morning sunrise from the east.
Questions of the Day: ***Knowing your away around the boat is very important