Setting Up Sampling and Camera Equipment

The MOCNESS is controlled from the forward dry lab when it is towed by the ship to catch krill.  A computer program talks to the net through the tow cable.  The cable provides power and a communications link to the net when it is underwater.  Alison can trigger the nets to open up at different depths.  There are also screens showing things like the ship’s speed, wind, temperature, position, cable out, tension….Ship operations require you to pay attention to a lot of different things.

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The CTD is also controlled from the dry lab.  Mike is operating the CTD while Bethany and Kerry let him know when to trigger the sample bottles.  Bottles on the CTD will capture water at different depths and bring it back to the surface.  The screen on the right shows that the CTD is at 422 meters depth and going down at 50 meters per minute.

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Ships have lots of small spaces that are often crammed with pipes and equipment.  Here is where the dock lines are kept while we are at sea.  Before we get back to the dock the lines will be taken back up to the deck so we can tie up to the pier.  There are also lots of other smaller lines for handling equipment.

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Gabby and Dave are putting the final touches on the camera system before a dive.  We added some fins to the back of the camera’s frame.  These will let us tow the camera around and use a sonar to map patches of krill that are near the bottom.  Fins with flames are always better than those without.

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The camera system is getting ready to go in the water.  The back deck of the ship is heated from below, just like radiant floor heating.  This melts the ice and keeps the deck from getting slippery.  The deck is wet most of the time.

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On a recent camera dive we had a seal visit us and swim in front of the camera for about 10 minutes.  The camera was down about 200 meters.  The seal seemed to like the lights and may have been using them to help catch fish.  We still need to identify what kind of seal it was. 200 meters is very deep for some kinds of seals.

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Categories: Life at Sea, Musings of an Oceanographer, Science Updates! | Leave a comment

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