Today is our last day at sea. The wind has picked up over night and I awoke to the sounds of doors opening and closing and drawers slamming back and forth. As I woke I realized that I was moving around much more in my bunk. The increased movement made it interesting to take a shower and get dressed and ready to complete our last stations.
When I reached the lab (without my usual cup of tea as I felt it would be impossible to carry down two flights of stairs) I saw that the winds were averaging 30 knots southeasterly near gale force with gusts higher. Our speed had slowed down to around 7 knots per hour which explained why I hadn’t heard the winch for a while in my bunk. We were approaching station 29. We deployed the CTDA research tool that is submerged in the water to measure conductivity (salinity), temperature, and depth. and The Aris SonarA method or device for detecting and locating objects by means of sound waves sent out to be reflected by the objects. device. We actually called in the sonar early because of the swell and the slack of the winch wire. It was scheduled to go down 180m but didn't make it that far. The plankton net trawl was canceled.
After 4 days of perfect calm seas, the weather had beaten us. We called off station 30 and we are now heading slowly to Dutch Harbor. It is currently going to take 7 hours to get there due to the weather.
We are arriving at Dutch Harbor around 3pm where the ship will refuel. It will take on around 120,000 gallons of fuel which will take 4 to 6 hours to fill. In this time, we are collecting our data, packing away equipment, cleaning the lab areas and storing our samples. Some of us are sleeping as its so much harder sampling in a rough sea compared to the calmness we have been experiencing. Everyone is tired.
As we approach Dutch Harbor, we pass Akutan Island and the surrounding peninsulas of Unalaska Island. The scenery is spectacular. As a huge fan of the Deadliest Catch, this is very exciting for me to see it all in real life!