The boat has gone from a constant chatter and clatter to a quiet hum and steady rock. Most of the science team has gone to bed in preparation for the action to come. I’m still up making sure our data transfer options are functional, and I have trouble robbing myself of one moment of on-board consciousness in the name of rest.
At present we are steaming at 11.4 knots (pretty fast) between San Nicolas Island and Santa Cruz Island. To put that in perspective, Olympic Gold Medalist swimmers can hit around 2.6 knots for a minute or so. This boat, which I’m told is the oldest functioning research vessel in service, is handling it well as we quietly rock through the night. There is a great deal of anticipation onboard with our hopes of arriving at our first station near 2am, casting a CTD and some hopes of squid jigging. For now, everything is lashed down, our equipment stands at the ready, and it’s time for a few hours of sleep. I’d say it feels like Xmas eve, there may be exciting discoveries tomorrow but even just being on the boat is excitement enough to keep me awake all night.
Cheers – Tristan