Not the ending we wanted

I’ve been quiet on the blog for a few days, mainly because we’ve been busy and because I was feeling like I was running out of things to write about.  I’ve started two blog posts but haven’t completed them, but suddenly there seems to be something to say.  At the end of most cruises this summer I’ve returned home and sat on my couch to write a quick sum up of what we’ve done. Right now I’m at home digesting the last 24 hours, because you see, we were scheduled to be doing net tows right now, with our MOCNESS, Tucker Trawl, and Mid-Water trawl to sample for zooplankton, jellyfish, and fish. Unfortunately the ship lost one of it’s drives, and we were forced to return to the dock for safety reasons. It happened when we were about to weigh anchor and begin the trawling and towing, but the drive would not come on.  The captain and chief engineer spend about 3-4 hours finding, diagnosing, and trying to repair the down system, but alas you can’t carry a spare for everything and it appeared that a transformer deep in the belly of the ship blew out – very unexpected and completely unpredictable. Coming home, though painful from a science perspective was prudent and wise. The most unsettling part is that we just kind of packed up with no sense of completion; people were standing by, literally ready to deploy the nets as soon as they got the go-ahead.  Oh well, these things happen, and there is really nothing to do about it. Plus it’s been a long, data-rich summer so it is not like we don’t have plenty to do. In my newly found day at home I’ll be finishing up a few more blog posts that will go up later this week, just to finish off this summer of cruising. And of course, it’s never too early to get ready for next year’s field season – 3 trips on the RV Sharp in May, July, and September to sort out the story of plankton, hypoxia, and the rest of the food web.  Stay tuned!


About planktoneer

I'm a zooplankton ecologist who studies how individual behaviors and variability affect populations of copepods in marine and estuarine systems.
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