First DEEPEND Cruise is Underway!
The DEEPEND cruise on the R/V Point Sur is underway and currently at their first station! We are out in the northern Gulf of Mexico until May 8th where we will be hoping to hit 8 stations during our journey. This is the first time out for the ship's crew, first time using this MOCNESS net system on this ship, and first time to try out all of the science protocols that we have set up for our cruises. The first cruise of a survey is usually called the "shake down" cruise, designed to work out glitches that may come up during the trip with quick troubleshooting and lots of problem solving by the DEEPEND Team which is extremely important to set the stage for efficient future cruises. We have quickly discovered, for example, that the internet is currently not reliable and Dante (on board) has sent me pictures to put into this blog so you can share our experience with us! I am not on board but can relay questions to the DEEPEND Team if you've got any! Post them and we can answer!
The R/V Point Sur at the dock in Gulfport, MS
The team is at the first station working through the deployment of the MOCNESS net (Multiple Opening/Closing Net Environmental Sensing System) which is a multi-net system that drops into the water at the same time with each net settling at different depths from the surface down to 1500m.. We are going to collect all organisms from each of the 5 nets and take tissues samples, identify the crustaceans, fishes, and cephalopods, and freeze some animals for lab studies back on land. We will detail our projects as the days progress. Stay tuned!
One of the MOCNESS nets being checked before assembled on the deck
Team checking the spool of wire that will deploy the net system.... SO much cable!
So, post any questions you have about our journey! Anything about life on a research ship, the science we're doing, what the crew does to run the ship, you ask it, we will try to answer the best we can! There will be great pictures of the other equipment and of course, the animals once these nets come up!