Category Archives: Oceanus

An Oceano trifecta in X-band vision

The IOP1 asset visualization now includes 3 ships, 3 boats, 2 sets of drifters and x-band radar images! Thanks to Falk Feddersen for hosting the full video of IOP1!

On 15 September the UNOLS vessel trifecta encountered mingling fronts and internal wave packets headed onshore during Oceano surveys. Two-hours of near-surface temperature data trail each vessel. The tightly-packed moorings, soon to be recovered, were in the middle of it all.  Good luck to the mooring recovery teams!

Sun sets on turnaround cruise

The R/V Oceanus offloaded personnel early this morning in Monterey Bay, bringing to a close the ship’s role in the second intensive operating period (IOP). The Oceanus weathered some sizable swells this past week and is currently steaming up to Newport with hopes of dodging another incoming storm in the north. This research vessel never sleeps.

To commemorate the hustle and bustle we have seen aboard these last twelve days, here is a science GIF (the best type of GIF, if you ask me!) from October 6th.

Mooring redeployment at dusk on October 6th aboard the R/V Oceanus

This sequence is from redeploying our second mooring (MS50-T). You can see us standing in a line on the deck of the ship, holding instruments in hand as we wait for the top float to be released overboard.

I have to admit that the feeling of putting those first few moorings back in the water– after an exciting and frenzied 24 hours between recovery and redeployment– was that of pride and relief: pride for how much we had accomplished in a short amount of time, and relief that the instruments were going back into the ocean where they belonged. As engineer Pavan Vutukur said when he saw the mooring returned to the water with numerous of his lab’s GusT instruments attached:

“Now that they’re going back? I feel so much better.”

We look forward to seeing those instruments again at the end of October. But for now, the sun has set on the second IOP aboard the Oceanus.

— Jenessa Duncombe and the R/V Oceanus team

The R/V Oceanus sets sail once again

The crew on the R/V Oceanus left port today from San Francisco under a fortuitous blue sky. We are headed south to Point Sal and expect to arrive in the morning on Thursday. We plan to recover and re-deploy up to 8 moorings and 9 landers over the next five days, as well as continue surveys with the towed Mini-bat/Acrobat (fingers crossed that the kelp forests stay out of our way this time). We have a new instrument as well— a bow chain equipped with thermistors and two GusT’s (pressure readers for depth and turbulence).

Our departure marks the beginning of turnarounds for the long-term moorings and we are excited to get our hands on the data. We do not know what we will find when we make it to the first station tomorrow. Has our mooring “walked” away from its original location? Has any fishing activity inadvertently interacted with our surface buoy? Or is our mooring and its all parts bobbing where we left it last, instruments dutifully recording data?

We hope the last option, but we are prepared for whatever we find. We have fresh batteries and all hands on deck for the recoveries.

Speaking of the team, we have some new faces aboard. The group hails from Oregon State University, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and the University of Miami. We have five research scientists, two graduate students, two technicians, one postdoc, one engineer, and lastly, one volunteer scientist/journalist (that’s me!). We also feel grateful for our MarTech and Oceanus crew.

Here are a few photos of our time on land, as well of us exiting the bay under the illustrious Golden Gate bridge.

Stay tuned to hear about mooring and landing recoveries.

— Jenessa Duncombe and the R/V Oceanus team

R/V Oceanus at sunrise with the San Francisco skyline in background

Engineer Sara Goheen readies the bowchain

Engineer Pavan Vutukur and Technician Marnie Jo Zirbel service the mini-bat instrument

The science team

scripps oceanography uc san diego