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17 March 2016
by Nanci Bompey Nanci Bompey is AGU’s public information manager. She is spending a week aboard the R/V Oceanus with scientists from Oregon State University (OSU) who are studying the role that small rivers play in the productivity of the coastal ocean during the winter. Click here to read Nanci’s previous blogs from this trip. We arrived at the dock at Newport Wednesday evening, unloaded our gear from the ship …
Wednesday is the last day of the cruise – we are zig-zagging back along the coast and will head back to Newport tonight. I am finally getting the hang of walking and living on a continuously rocking boat, including being shuttled across the lab on a rolling office chair when there’s a big swell. I’ve also realized how many people, all working together, it takes to pull off a research cruise.
16 March 2016
On Monday night, I slept for the first time on the ship while it was moving. Laying in my top bunk, swaying side to side, I could hear the water moving and waves hitting the side of the boat. The motion of the ship rocked me to sleep, but every so often the boat would rock further sideways, and I would have to brace myself so I wouldn’t fall out of the top bunk. I could also hear the CTD hitting the deck periodically while the night crew did their work.
15 March 2016
When you plan a research cruise in the winter in Oregon, there’s a good chance the weather will change your plans. That’s what happened to us this weekend. We were finally able to get back out on the ocean on Monday afternoon and we drove south to the Umpqua Hydrographic line – a seven-hour trip. It was a rough ride and most people spent it in their bunks or in the lounge, where books flew off the shelves when we hit particularly rough spots.
14 March 2016
On Sunday afternoon, we headed back to Newport. The scientists and crew were closely watching the weather to see when we will be able to head back on the water. The down time gives Goni and his team some time to filter water samples that were collected from the Newport Hydrographic Line on Friday. The samples are one piece of a larger project trying to figure out how small coastal rivers are influencing coastal ocean productivity during the winter.
12 March 2016
We finally headed out on the ocean Friday morning. Unfortunately, bad weather is rolling in this weekend so we’re going to head back in Friday night. We’ll hopefully get back out on Monday. Despite only being a day trip, I still got some flavor for being on a research cruise, including feeling a little queasy around lunchtime. But I spent some time outside and I felt much better. I am, hopefully, getting my sea legs.
11 March 2016
After a one-day delay due to bad weather, we finally headed out of Corvallis on Thursday afternoon. On the way to Newport, where the R/V Oceanus is docked, we stopped to take water samples from the Alsea River and estuary, which feed into the ocean. Miguel and his team are looking at how small rivers, like the Alsea, contribute nutrients to the coastal ocean that feed phytoplankton blooms during the winter.
8 March 2016
This week I will fly to Oregon to meet up with scientists from Oregon State University and embark on my first research cruise. I will be an observer aboard the R/V Oceanus, a mid-sized research vessel owned by the National Science Foundation and operated by OSU. We will be out on the ship for a week, traveling up and down the Pacific Northwest coast, and I’ll be blogging, taking pictures and shooting video to capture both the research being done and the experience of being aboard a research ship.