Escaping the Storm, Part II
August 28, 2005
Latitude: 29° 18.750'N
Longitude: 94° 49.082'W
Hurricane Katrina has reached Category 5, making it a storm of potentially catastrophic proportions. While we have now made it to the relative safety of Galveston, Texas, the scientists and crew of the R/V Seward Johnson are keeping a close eye on the storm’s progress as it bears down upon New Orleans. Many other ships from around the Gulf have also fled westward from Katrina and dock space in Galveston looks like it will be hard to secure. Thankfully, we received permission from Texas A&M University's Department of Oceanography, to raft up next to their research vessel, the Gyre, once they come into dock. In other good news, the replacement part for the winch will reach us by early afternoon today, so we may be in position to resume our research by early next week.
We are now safely tied up to the Gyre after a skillful sideways-slide maneuver on the part of Captain Aric Anderson. Many of the ship and science crew have taken the opportunity for a little "shore leave" to investigate the city of Galveston. The first small boat load shuttling ashore included Edie Widder, going to meet her husband Dave Smith and his hand-delivered winch brake replacement part. Ship's Engineer Kevin Bradley immediately began the replacement process but, to the disappointment of all, it appears that more hard-to-find parts will be needed before the winch is once again operational. The seas remain calm here as we go to bed to await news of Katrina's expected landfall tomorrow morning....