The ship has headed west, leaving the Channel Islands and moving past Point Conception, entering the California Current. Although our winds are currently light, we are now in offshore waters and soon headed to the high seas. Our student crew is beginning to settle into their watch routine and responsibilities, and also figuring out how to get rest as their watch schedule permits.
1430 (2:30PM) begins our ship’s meeting, with general announcements, prepared reports, and academic work. Our hope was to get the sextants out to practice “lowering” the sun to the horizon and prepare for our first Latitude at Local Apparent Noon the next day. Clouds did not cooperate, but we were able assess sextant index error and refresh the simple noon calculations that will tell our ship’s latitude by measuring the height of the sun above the horizon. Our meeting closed with an awesome activity. My contacts with meteorologists at the National Weather Service – Ocean Prediction Center arranged for our crew to launch ten buoys from Scripps Institution of Oceanography’s Global Drifter Program. Five of these buoys will measure sea surface atmospheric pressure with the remaining five measuring sea height. The buoys will be deployed at locations that will fill a gap or void in data. Today we launched an SVPB drifter that will begin sending sea surface pressure data back to Scripps and the NWS. This drifter is a combination of the instrument and drogue or sea anchor that will minimize drift from wind. Two more drifters over the next couple of days with others following throughout our voyage!
Our day concluded with a night science station, towing a surface net for 30 minutes. The sea around the Robert C Seamans was illuminated by hundreds of pyrosomes, glowing orbs floating by the ship (and into our net!).
- Capt. Rick Miller
PS: Sam has a special shout out to his Mom, Holly Fisher – Happy Happy Birthday!!
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