15 November 2011 | East Flower Garden Banks, Gulf of Mexico
The seas have not been as kind to us as they had in the summer. Two days of this cruise we could not tow-yo their CTD system because the seas were too rough. All you can do at that time is sit and ride it out until conditions improve. Thankfully they did. The last few days we’ve been back to mowing the lawn and tow-yoing.
Their CTD system, that they call SWIMS3, is pictured above. The front of the instrument is facing left (backwards in the picture because they were doing maintenance). The SWIMS3 is attached by an EM cable so real time data can be transmitted into the lab. The winch used to raise and lower the system is remotely controlled in the lab. The scientists stand 12 hour watches while monitoring data from the CTD, depth from the ship’s echoshounder, and controlling the winch so that the CTD doesn’t hit the ever changing bottom. The SWIMS3 contains conductivity, temperature, depth, and turbidity sensors as well as 2 ADCPs (Acoustic Doppler Current Profilers), one upward facing and one facing downward. The instruments will help the scientists better understand the mixing of the water in this area.
Weather: mostly sunny, 78 degrees, winds 25 knots, seas 4-6 feet.