Setting Sail

April 16, 2021

Ariana Patterson, Northeastern University

As we leave the dock, Kayla handles the helm, Kira prepares to go on watch, and Alex mans a fender while Captain Allison and the crew work to maneuver us safely out.
C297_16Apr_01small

As we leave the dock, Kayla handles the helm, Kira prepares to go on watch, and Alex mans a fender while Captain Allison and the crew work to maneuver us safely out.

Ship's Log

Noon Position
27°34.343’ N 33°10.407’ W

Ship Heading
245° PSC

Ship Speed
5.40 knots

Taffrail Log
83.52 nm

Weather / Wind / Sail Plan
Wind from the south at Beaufort Force 3, moderate cloud cover and warm

Description of location
Gulf of Mexico, light traffic from other ships and open blue water

Souls on Board

After completing our final COVID tests, we left dock in Tampa Bay and began our track out into the Gulf of Mexico and up the United States’ eastern coast. We got a great send off from a few of the crew of a research vessel docked near us and some of Laurens’ family. We started off under just the main engine, then set the mainstays’l and the forestays’l as we moved farther out into the bay.

Setting the mains’l is a team effort. In front, Izzy, Cam, and Daviana (right to left) help to raise the sail

Setting the mains’l is a team effort. In front, Izzy, Cam, and Daviana (right to left) help to raise the sail

Later on we were also able to set the mains’l and the jib and do a bit of sailing without the engine. Not long after getting under way we completed a Surface Station collection, grabbing a bucket of surface water to analyze for nutrient concentrations, chlorophyll-a, and bacterial abundance. We took a second Surface Station sample at midnight while I was standing the night watch along with the rest of C watch.

In early afternoon we had our first visitors – a group of spotted dolphins. They swam alongside us long enough for someone to go wake Natalie, a member of the marine mammal team, who was thrilled to see them. We encountered a second group later on, as well as a few of a different species who showed off some aerobatics. For me and all the other students who had never before seen dolphins in the wild – as well as those who had – it was an exciting experience. We’ll all be looking forward to seeing more charismatic megafauna along our cruise track.

- Ariana, C Watch, Northeastern University

Dolphins spotted! Five came up to swim along with the ship early this afternoon. Martha, Sydney Marie, Elena, and Ariana (left to right) watch on the port side

Dolphins spotted! Five came up to swim along with the ship early this afternoon. Martha, Sydney Marie, Elena, and Ariana (left to right) watch on the port side

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