The Okeanos Explorer’s ROV team uses the weather day to fine tune the vehicles and perform any maintenance that is required. Image courtesy of the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, Northeast U.S. Canyons Expedition 2013. Download larger version (jpg, 1.8 MB).
We woke up this morning to find that the seas and wind had come up overnight just as was forecasted. The ship’s captain, expedition coordinator, mapping team lead, and remotely operated vehicle (ROV) team lead all gathered on the bridge just after sunrise to assess the weather and decide if we could deploy the ROV or not. Unfortunately, all were in agreement that the weather was too bad for ROV operations. So emails were sent and notes passed to shore to let our shore-based science team know that there was not going to be a dive and that they needed to find less interesting things to do with their Saturday. The ROV team was able to use the weather day to catch up on a little rest and a lot of paperwork. While a weather day may mean less work for most the mission personnel, it certainly does not for our mapping team. They have to create a line plan and run the ship sonars an extra 12 hours a day. Just because it is too rough for ROV operations does not mean that we still cannot collect high-resolution sonar data. Today, we have been mapping an area of interest to the U.S. Geological Survey who is trying to understand how and why landslides occur on the continental shelf slope. As the day comes to a close, we are all closely watching the weather forecasts with fingers and toes crossed that we will be able to dive on Sunday.