So Long, Papa

Ah, Station Papa, it was nice while it lasted. Yesterday we made a successful turn-around of our Waverider buoy. It was as easy as:

1. Start of with 4000 meters of line (and some other appurtenances)

2. Put 4000 meters of line into ocean (successful deployment)

3. Pick up 2-year-old 4000-meter length of line (with expensive instruments)

So now we are finished with all destination-sensitive activities. When we were scheduled on the R/V Thompson, a faster ship leaving out of Seattle,the plan was to spend more time at Station Papa. We’ve been taking two years of wave measurements at the station and there’s a body of work around the area, so staying put was nice idea. Now, however, we’re on the clock for an October 15th return to San Diego, and we’ve got many hours of commute ahead of us. Rather than waste the dark night hours sitting in place, we’re trying to give ourselves more time by making our way back when it’s dark or the weather is nice, and taking data at opportune times. We’ve been looking a lot at the website, which aggregates forecasts of wind and waves from public government sources. For example, we’re eyeing the sliver of a storm coming across 145Ā° W in about 48 hours (see picture below, wind speed and direction), so we’re making our way south before we head east to the coast. It’s somewhat ironic that we’re relying on wave forecasts (for example, Wavewatch III, the NOAA product that’s used below) that we hope to at some point improve upon.

– Mike


One thought on “So Long, Papa

  1. Don Schwendeman

    Hey Mike.

    It’s nice to read that everything is going well with your voyage, and that you are now heading back to San Diego. Mom and I have been following along. I’m not sure whether to be happy or sad about the lack of bad weather and big waves. I like waves as you know, but only of a modest height and at the shore of a nice warm sandy beach.

    I have a journey back home from Oxford tomorrow. I’m pretty sure that the stories you have to tell of your trip will be more interesting than mine.




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