HICEAS Oscar Elton Sette Leg 2 report

Here’s the report for Leg 2 of HICEAS – OES.  I would have done weekly reports but we weren’t anywhere near as busy as the first leg and by the time we got enough action to write about, the cruise was almost over. 

Anyways, here’s the rundown:

When we hit the dock after leg 1, I immediately flew to Kauai to visit former Bird Robot members Grant and Sara Bowen.  Since they’ve moved to Kauai, Grant’s become an avid golfer.  I was disappointed that I lived in Scotland for a year without golfing so I figured I shouldn’t let this opportunity go to waste.  We had a couple days of “Surf and Turf” followed by a couple days of just “Surf”.  Good times were had by all.

Leg 2 started out with a transit from Pearl Harbor to Hilo.  Immediately after leaving Pearl Harbor the wind picked up and stayed in the Beafort 5/6/7 range for over a week.  In this time we had maybe four or five sightings, mostly sperm whales and bottlenose dolphins.  We worked the SE corner of the Hawaiian EEZ and used up quite a few weather days re-surveying lines that we couldn’t finish due to bad weather.  Since our mammal sightings were so few and far between, the marine mammal observers got lots of training identifying various seabirds.  Highlights include seeing the first mottled petrels for the cruise, ticking off the last few of the Hawaiian cookilaria petrels, and getting what may be the first wedge-rumped storm petrel record for Hawaiian waters.  Eventually we pounded our way out of that corner and a big loop out towards the NNW.  On the way out the weather improved but it did not last; our last few days were spent much like the beginning: pounding into 20+ knots of wind and 10′ swells. 

Thanks to all the scientists and crew of the Oscar Elton Sette for making HICEAS a great time!  Hopefully we’ll all sail again on STAR (or whatever) 2011!)

Here are some photos by the scientific party:

Golfing in Kauai with Grant and crew.

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I am a crappy golfer.

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Grant goes to the beach.

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The first 7-10 days looked mostly like this.  Don’t be deceived by the rainbow; it was crappy.

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Red-footed boobies provided daily entertainment.

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“This is Ghostrider requesting flyby”

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Red-tailed tropicbird.

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White-tailed tropicbird.

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White-tailed tropicbirds.

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Striped dolphin.

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Uh oh, this many people looking can only mean… pseudorca chase!

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It was an acoustic detection.

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Acousticians hard at work.

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Gotta be around here somewhere… but we never found them.

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We did find a big group of Fraser’s dolphins…

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with Peps!

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and… Grampus?

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and Steno too?

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It was quite challenging keeping up with the hosers and peps.

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We did our best…

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from the ship and the small boat

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hosers are pretty dolphins.

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Peps are also quite pretty.

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Run away!!!

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We had one afternoon like this, but we weren’t able to pull much out aside from distant unids.  😦

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More Fraser’s! 

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Fraser’s running away in rough seas.  Most of our sightings were dolphin butts. 

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Full moon rising.

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We launched the small boat a few times to chase sightings and test the acoustic array.

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Standing by to chase Bryde’s whale.

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Stay on target…

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Direct hit!

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The ladies requested a hot tub and their wish was granted.

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The ladies were also expert squid killers.

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All in the name of science

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…and art.

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Where’d those pesky dolphins go?

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Victory at Sea for the last few days.  25-35 kt headwind.  Oh baby. 

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Pretty sunsets out here.

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and goodnight!

Me

HICEAS OES leg 2 trackline

Hiceasleg2track

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