MBARI Ridges 2005 Expedition

Juan de Fuca Leg: August 7–18, 2005
Gorda Leg: August 22–September 2, 2005

 August 22 update from Kim Fulton-Bennett:

We left Newport harbor this morning at the "civilized" hour of 8 am, heading out underneath the picturesque span of the Yaquina river bridge, and out to sea. For the captain and crew, this will be their fifth consecutive week at sea, with only a few days of shore leave. But for those of us just joining this leg of the cruise, it feels good to be heading out from port. Although it is foggy, the air is not very cold, and the winds are light (less then ten knots), which is the best weather we could ask for along this part of the coast.

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Pat Duffy and some of the Western Flyer crew deflate the ship's fenders as the Western Flyer sails out beneath the Yaquina River Bridge.

As we headed out to sea, the scientists on board discussed findings from the previous leg of the cruise and talked about things they hoped to see on this leg. There was also time to simply savor being out on the water, or at least try to get our sea legs.

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Scientists discuss geologic features that we hope to see along the Gorda Ridge, using computer printouts of the bathymetry as well as sonar images of the sea bottom and subsurface.
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Stephanie Ross enjoys a few minutes of sunshine as we head out to sea.

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Jenny Paduan lays out rock samples from the previous leg of the cruise for scientists on this leg to examine.
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The obligatory immersion-suit drill and photo-op. Only those science crew who had not been on the previous cruise are in this photo.

Later in the afternoon Jenny Paduan set out some lava samples from the previous cruise for people to study. Then we had the obligatory fire drill and immersion suit dress-up party and photo-op. Finally, expedition leader Dave Clague gave us an overview of the cruise plans and what he hoped to get out of each dive.

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Expedition leader Dave Clague briefs the science team on the goals and plans for the dive.
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Sunset somewhere off the coast of Oregon.

By nightfall, the wind had picked up, but not enough to slow us down as we continued to steam toward our first dive site. We expect to reach the Gorda Ridge before dawn and look forward to beginning our first dive at 6:30 tomorrow morning.

        [Next Day]