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Christopher Bull

Aspiring Oceanographer at the British Antarctic Survey. Big data python enthusiast. Outdoor adventurer.

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So, mooring retrieval is really exciting! The reason is that there aren’t any guarantees that the acoustic release will function correctly and that the mooring hasn’t been damaged in the time it has spent in the open ocean. As an example, today was particularly exciting because the crew and the science staff have all been waiting fifteen months wondering if mooring 4 is okay. Way back in June 2012 they were getting pings from the Exeos equipment (gps beacon) on moorings 3/4 that suggested the moorings were at the sea’s surface. Something had gone wrong. The only reason the moorings should be at the surface is if the acoustic release has been activated…

[caption id=”attachment_475” align=”aligncenter” width=”225”]Phil Adams manning the acoustic release. Phil Adams manning the acoustic release.[/caption]

But first, a little bit of background. When the moorings were put in, the latitude and longitude was recorded. After it is believed the mooring’s anchor is on the bottom, the ship will do a wide circumnavigation of the mooring pinging the acoustic release to establish a location. Thus, when we come back to pick up the mooring we have an idea of where it should be. So when Phil Adams activates the acoustic release everyone on the boat rushes on deck to see where the mooring will pop up.

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The excellent outcome of the last two days is that despite our reservations about moorings 3 and 4 it looks like we have only lost the top Exios instruments on both moorings. In other words, the important instruments have all been recovered and our time series is okay.

In category: Southern_Surveyor