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Transit to the first station in the ODZ off Mexico

By: Darcy Perin


We have been living aboard the RV Sally Ride for about a week now. The seas have been extremely calm, and no one, to my knowledge, has been seasick which is a big relief. I have been very impressed with the hard work and dedication that each crew person has shown. I have also been extremely impressed with the food that the cooks, Randal and Brian have prepared for us. I feel as though I can learn so much from not only the scientists on board, but the crew as well, and I look forward to learning all I can in the next few weeks.

Tonight, we will be arriving at our first sampling station. We have been in transit for about four and a half days now, and we have all been very busy with preparations. When we first boarded the Sally Ride, my most important task was to set up the preservation line trunks and vacuum pump system that hold the glass flasks that I will be using to sample noble gas (pictured). Setting up both trunks and the pump system was initially a very daunting task, but I soon realized that the flask connections and pump system were very similar to the Membrane Inlet Mass Spectrometer (MIMS) that I have been using in the lab for over a year now, so it turned out to be simpler than anticipated. Most of my preparations were completed before leaving port, so a lot of my time in transit has been used to practice both dissolved and noble gas sampling techniques and labeling bottles/exetainers.

Yesterday we had our first big charismatic megafauna sighting since leaving port. Initially we thought that they were grey whales, but after doing some quick research we saw that grey whales don’t go further south than Baja California, so we believe the whales were actually blue whales! In addition to the whales we were also able to see a pod of dolphins out in the distance. Later today the first float is being deployed, so that it can be calibrated, and I am looking forward to watching that deployment. I am also looking forward to seeing how the Mockness net is deployed and retrieved.

credit: Darcy Perin

credit: Darcy Perin

credit: Darcy Perin

credit: Darcy Perin

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