After several days of rough seas, the crew finally got a break from Mother Nature, making their difficult task of retrieving the moorings a bit easier. But the oil rig that caught fire yesterday set everyone on edge, especially considering how close they were to the Deepwater Horizon. Here’s Will Race’s update from the last few days:
Wednesday, September 1:
Rest and recuperation was the theme for today. After five days of exhausting work the Oceana team ventured back out to the Deepwater Horizon mooring sites to continue retrieval.
Due to time restrictions and rough weather, only half the moorings from the originally planned experiment were set. Yes, this is science -- things don’t always go as planned. The zones with the highest level of importance have been covered and other areas of interest will have to wait.
The weather continues to throw roadblocks against the expedition. High seas and winds up to 30mph made it impossible to do any CTD scans today, and made the ride extremely rough and unpredictable. Tables, chairs and anything that was not tied down became airborne after every wave’s crest. Eventually it got bad enough that the captain of the ship altered course for “smoother” seas.
Today’s journey took us back out to sea and the closest to the Deepwater Horizon site so far this expedition. The amount of activity taking place around the relief well is astonishing. As the sun set and the light faded, the entire site was illuminated and it was unbelievable how much is going on there. It looked like a small city skyline at night.