We spent the weekend bobbing around the Gulf of Mexico on seas that were about six feet tall—too big for us to sample safely. Many of us were relieved to have a break from sampling since it gave us a chance to catch up on sample processing and data management; not to mention sleep. After the weather had calmed down, we sampled at two stations and then skipped to sample at several closer to the well head.
We were also given a change in course over the weekend. Since we have one of only a couple multi-corers on ships sampling out in the Gulf, we are heading out to the deep water to sample while ships with box corers will be sampling closer in toward shore. This is because box corers are less predictable to use in deeper water.
Today we were able to get in a full day of sampling (Seven stations!). More bad weather is expected, so we’re trying to work fast before that hits. Wednesday we’re due back in port where we will do the usual restocking and sample off-loading and some of our crew members (including our on-board chemists) will rotate off the ship.
Meanwhile, we continue to marvel at our surroundings including these curious Mahi Mahi that swam next to our boat for an hour.