Vance Expedition
July 24 - August 6, 2006

July 25, 2006
Transit day

Jenny wrote: We departed from Moss Landing, CA last night with the high tide at 11PM local time. The fog was a thick, quiet blanket and the seas were glassy calm. We made 10 knots during the night, with the ship barely rolling. I slept very well. Today was gorgeous and clear, but the wind has picked up. The current is from the south against the long swells from the north, which stacks up the swells into monsters. As of evening, the swells are 4-5m (12-15ft) and occasionally ~7m (~21ft), with wind waves ~1m on top. We have had to drop our speed steadily through the day so we don't slam into the swells, and are now are going only 3.5 knots. At this rate, we will be at NESCA tomorrow night at midnight and may just keep on going north, as our other dive sites are beyond this gale. A number of our party aren't feeling so well and there were very few of us at dinner.

We had our obligatory weekly fire and boat drill today, where we in the science party learned from Erik, the Second Mate, about the "station bill", which details the signals we would hear and what our stations and tasks would be during various types of emergencies, while the crew went through the exercises of fighting a fire and dealing with other emergency situations.

View of the aft deck of the ship, showing the elevator, which will be used to transport core barrels to and from the seafloor (center, with orange floatation), the bundle of 18 core barrels we hope to fill (extreme left), and the rock crusher (covered with a tarp, right center).

ROV pilot Brian got a haircut before we left the dock. He is going to donate the braid, on the table next to him, to "Locks for Love" for cancer patients. (Photo by DJ Osborne, ROV pilot.)

We practiced getting into survival suits
(aka "gumby suits"), which are supposed
to keep us bouyant and warm if we end
up in the sea.

Our position as of 0200 GMT July 26 (7PM local time July 25). We are the red ship-shaped icon just northwest of Point Reyes and San Francisco. Our proposed dive targets are black dots, very far away from where we are now, upwind and upswell.

[Previous Day]      [Next Day]