Monday, August 10, 2009

Wind and waves

Today dawned with OK weather but a forecast for increasing winds. We had positioned the ship to an area where beaked whales had been detected and weather was forecast to be best, but we did not encounter workable weather nor beaked whales. The wind increased so much that the visual team had to come down from the flying bridge in the mid-morning, and reached above 30 knots during the afternoon. The acoustic monitors could continue listening, although wave noise made it a little harder to detect signals. The rest of the teams went over data from the earlier parts of the cruise. The seas will be up, and the forecast is for continued winds, but we are hoping for enough of a window to try to tag in the next 2 days.

It must be the start of the southward migration season for european birds. We have regularly been seeing hawks from the ship. Today a hoopoe landed on the railing of a crane for awhile to rest before resuming its flight. I am afraid that the Roman augurs thought that hoopoes could detect changes in the atmosphere and that they heralded storms.... We are relying on the best meteorological data our computers deliver us, and we hope for better auguries.