Excessive Winds, Tough Seas, and Winch Issues
From January 16 to 19, the R/V Pelican transited from offshore Jamaica in direction of Haiti alongside the Jamaica Passage. Beneath the ocean waters, on the seafloor, we might monitor the linear hint of the submarine Enriquillo-Plantain Backyard Fault zone on floor maps. We took sediment cores in the course of the evening time.
We had issues with the winch and cable that help the load of the jumbo gravity coring system (“Huge Bertha”) because it descends and ascends by way of the water column. We needed to change the coring operation to the starboard (proper) facet of the ship, the place there’s a smaller winch that we might use. The starboard winch helps much less weight than the earlier one, so we wanted to make use of a smaller coring head and shorter pipes. Because of this the size of the core we recuperate is shorter, so the sediment layers don’t attain as far again in time. With the Huge Bertha system, we might recuperate six meters. With this smaller system, just one meter.
Instrument issues and tough seas are frequent in seagoing expeditions and we usually have a number of back-up methods in case one thing breaks whereas we’re far-off from land. That is such a case.
Because the prevailing winds that blow alongside the Jamaica Passage picked up velocity, the swells grew to become greater and the oceans rougher. The Jamaica Passage is an open seaway the place winds are typically robust, making coring operations difficult. However, Chris Fanshier and Ben Freiberg (proven under) are doing a fantastic job dealing with the restoration of the cores contemplating the ocean floor situations. They’re each very skilled, and we’re fortunate to have them.