We've set sail again for another 10-day NCC Ecosystem research survey. This fall survey is occurring during an auspicious time; the fall transition from upwelling to downwelling and the beginnings of a marine heatwave in the North Pacific.
Our first transect to sample is also one of our most heavily sampled over the past 20+ years- the Newport Hydrographic Line. We regularly sample this line out to 25 miles from shore, but when we are aboard a larger vessel, we sample out to 200 miles which is what we've been doing over the past two days.
Plankton samples were clear and sparse from nearshore to offshore, not unusual for fall sampling. Chaetognaths were abundant in the most nearshore stations, some euphausiids were collected on the shelf break, and smaller gelatinous taxa were found in oligotrophic waters offshore.
Surface temperatures were quite warm along the entire transect from the beach out to 200 miles, averaging 18°C. The water has been blue and clear across the entire transect.
We are currently experiencing northerly winds so it will be interesting to see how the hydrography changes when we sample the Newport Hydrographic Line again at the end of the survey.