|Caitlin strikes a power stance while|
waiting to deploy the MOCNESS.
Deploying the MOCNESS is tricky business, because we have to make sure none of the 10 nets get tangled on their way into the water. It took four of us on deck, plus two crew members, to get it straight. Hopefully, we'll get better with practice as the cruise goes on. After the nets were safely in the water, most of us went to sleep, but two stayed awake to monitor the net on its journey to the deep. We had to be vigilant about watching the on-screen displays, checking the angle of the wire, the velocity of the net, the speed of the ship, the payout of the winch. I'll give you more details later, but suffice it to say we were on high alert all night.
|Kara and Laurel analyzing a larva in the lab.|
The beginning of this cruise has been a whirlwind so far, and it feels like the past 36 hours all belonged to one extraordinarily long day. Of course, I've been awake for most of them. (Don't worry; I'll sleep after I'm done writing.) I think our first MOCNESS tow went surprisingly well, all things considered. None of the seven of us on board are particularly experienced with the MOCNESS, and the grad student who was responsible for our gear in the past isn't on this cruise. We've been able to figure it out between our fragmented recollections and help from the ship's personnel, but I definitely look forward to smoothing out the rough spots in our process as the cruise goes on.
We survived our first deployment and our first long day at sea. It can only get better from here!