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There and back again

That’s a wrap for us out here. Gear in hand, deck overflowing, data download party in full swing, we’re headed home.  Till next time….

 

All work and no play makes…

We’ve been mostly working crazy hours out here, pulling in a silly number of moorings, downloading hundreds of GB of data, dealing with a few unexpected twists and turns. But we took a couple minutes on the 31st for sanity-retaining-fun:

Winning entry – the OSU ADCP team! Look closely in other photos for their serial numbers and hard-hat transducers

 

ADCPs at work on deck

 

Our ever serious chief sci

Thanks to our awesome cook Mark for getting pumpkins for everyone

 

Hopefully we all recognize this scene by now (brilliance by Jack McS)

Even our “pull em up, cross em off” board got festive

Just another day in the office with Kerry

 

 

You take one down, pass it around, 99 moorings left to recover…

Actually far fewer than 99, only 15 more to go as of Thursday morning. We have had an incredibly busy few days, with a few unexpected challenges.  As of now, we have most of the moorings onboard and  tons of data being downloaded.  A huge shout-out to the SIO research divers, who came out to lend us a hand.

Happy stack of recovered sea spiders

Some unexpected twists and turns

Weather has been incredibly good

Egg sacks(??) attached to many mooring lines

Our octopus count has been skyrocketing. The winner so far is VB50S-A, which had 5(!) surprised octopi crawling out of every nook and cranny upon recovery

Quad-pod coming aboard

Ready….set……

The Sally Ride is steaming north, for the last major “big ship” effort.  We have 6 days on site to recover 61 moorings, and were greeted this morning by news from the Captain to expect 15-19′ seas upon arrival.  No problem!  Or so we hope.  We have an excellent ship, a solid science party, and lots of enthusiasm.  We also have a large map of all our mooring locations (gotta use that onboard poster printer for something), and we’re ready to start crossing them off one by one.

André Palóczy and Kerry Latham eager to start crossing off moorings.

 

More updates tomorrow when hopefully we have good news, and maybe even data, to share. Wish us luck.

 

The last boat afloat

Though most of our friends have left, the science crew of the Sally Ride has been enjoying our final few days of surveying.   Some of the topics that have been on our mind this week include wakes associated with flow around topography, strong fronts created by confluence in these wakes, or by confluences in the generally eddying along-shore flow, and how any of that structured momentum and buoyancy variance is ultimately dissipated.

Here are a few examples. First we have a composite of 24 hours of repeat occupations of an “L” pattern near Pt Sal.   The flow (black arrows) not only changes significantly over a tidal cycle, but shows a variety of small-scale eddies to boot.  Bow chain temperature (color) shows a wealth of features, including trains of incoming solitary waves as well as sharp fronts likely associated with the topographic wakes. This was from the same time period we had ALL SEVEN (!) large and small boats operating in the vicinity, and we are very excited to work with everyone to fill out this map.

 

 

A zoom in on one front near Pt Sal shows it to be incredibly sharp, only a couple meters wide at most (top panel) with elevated turbulence on one side of the front (middle panel), and complex turbulent structures visible in biosonics (lowest panel). [courtesy Ata Suanda, Anna Savage, Sean Haney].

Many of these very sharp, strong fronts were also observed with the GusT probes on our bow chain, with high resolution turbulence data remarkably matched to the sharp gradients, suggestive of any number of interesting instabilities [Alexis Kaminski and Jim Moum]

We get a slightly different view of our ocean full of fronts from the air.  The SIO and UW aircraft of course have been giving us excellent birds eye views of all manner of features.  Closer in, an IR camera on a quadcopter shows us a variety of very complex looking frontal structures (image a few hundred meters wide, courtesy of Eric Lo and Amy Waterhouse)

 

Inspired by some of these interesting features all of the boats observed near Pt Sal, we more recently spent a day and a half sampling near Pt. Purisima, where we observed another strongly eddying flow (details forthcoming). On a roll, and benefiting from the high winds currently blowing us home not being as difficult as expected, we conducted one final compare-and-contrast topographic survey near Pt. Arguello.

Finally, we took some time to conduct several high resolution cross-shore surveys (at Pt. Sal, Pt. Purisima, and Pt. Arguello), which may provide some insight into incident flow characteristics and boundary/validation conditions for our regional modelers.

We’re a few hours out of port, so more from the other side.  Nice working with you all!

 

 

 

 

scripps oceanography uc san diego