April 29, 2022
The last week of the spring CalCOFI cruise was pretty bumpy offshore from Piedras Blancas with 15-17 foot swells and 15-20 knot winds. Despite the rough weather, FRD’s science team and the Shimada crew were able to continue working. On April 20, the Continuous Underway Fish Egg Sampler (CUFES) stopped working, thankfully after two days, the Shimada engineering department was able to get it back online. Unfortunately, CUFES went down when Amy Hays (chief scientist), Bryan Overcash, and Emily Gardner were seeing Pacific sardine eggs in the samples. The team was very happy to see sardine eggs in the CUFES samples since spring is the peak spawning time for sardine and we haven’t been able to do much spring CalCOFI sampling north of Point Conception since 2019.
The weather worsened towards the end of this week when the team was on the last CalCOFI line (60.0) offshore of San Francisco. This offshore region is where the team was scheduled to deploy two of Shannon Rankin’s High Flyer buoys, which will now be reprogrammed by Anne Simonis to be deployed on the next ACCESS cruise. Luckily, they were able to deploy two of the four buoys Shannon’s team sent on our cruise, check them out here: https://maps.findmespot.com/s/KQWT.
The spring CalCOFI cruise ended on Thursday, April 28, when they safely and successfully pulled into Richmond Harbor just north of Oakland. Despite a delayed start, an understaffed science team, plenty of rough weather, several non-trivial mechanical malfunctions, and getting rerouted by the Navy, the team and the Shimada crew were able to complete 101/104 planned stations. Everyone is tired but feeling happy and proud of the work they accomplished.
April 22, 2022
Amy Hays (chief scientist), Emily Gardner, and Bryan Overcash are out on the Shimada for the spring CalCOFI cruise that got underway on April 6. The first few days went very smoothly thanks to the nice weather and great collaboration between the science and ship’s crew. Morale remains high despite the snotty weather they’ve been dealing with offshore. The ship headed into Dana Point on Wednesday, Apr 13, to drop off a staff member and pick up some science equipment. All participants were happy for the brief respite from the rough weather while in Dana Point. The continuous underway egg sampler (CUFES) has been running steadily and Amy, Bryan, and Emily have been sorting through those samples with reports of eggs of anchovies, Jack Mackerel, and a few sardines. In years past, we would expect to see high abundances and high densities of sardines during our spring cruises, but that hasn’t been the case for a while now. Morale is high and everyone on board is happy to be out on the water doing science. The food has been outstanding thanks the chief steward Arnold who will be joining the Lasker in mid-May as the permanent chief steward, which is great news for us!