Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Still Rolling

The winds gradually came down from the gales of last night throughout the day, but the swell from the sustained strong (Beaufort 7) winds remained prohibitively high for us. Our visual observers went on watch several times as we looked for pilot whales. We did find some, but with the seas and the fact that most of the sub-groups had small calves, we did not attempt to attach acoustic tags. As usual, we had our passive listening arrays deployed and had intermittent detections of marine mammals at different points during the day.

Overall it was another day where the weather prevented us from achieving our primary objective. Based on our experiences the last few weeks and the wind and wave forecasts for the next five days, we will be leaving our current location and transiting to one of our other large operating areas closer to Italy. Thus, the next few days we will be in fast transit survey mode as we cover a large amount of ocean. We will listen with one array in the water and conduct visual surveys as the conditions allow. The area we will be passing through has not been surveyed systematically and thus even as we transit through this area we hope to provide some useful contributions to the scientific understanding of part of the western Mediterranean Sea.