Two Years of Growth

Current Position: 48 N, 147 W

Yesterday we recovered the buoy I helped to deploy back in October, 2012. On that trip, we discovered that, in addition to measuring waves, these buoys make a great home for gooseneck barnacles, and they were back in abundance this time around. The before-and-after photo below shows the impressive number of these slimy crustaceans clinging to the buoy, which contributed significantly to its weight. This growth, generally known as “bio-fouling,” is something that needs to be considered for any instrument or equipment spending time in the ocean.

All of which has got me thinking about my own growth since that last cruise. Not many people have the luxury of getting a second chance at an experiment, but I think it should be more of a priority.
Collectively, we have improved upon so much our methodology since 2012, both experimentally and analytically, that a lot of what was done before seems terribly crude. Personally, I have passed several personal milestones in that time (Masters degree, qualifying exams, conferences, papers, etc), but more important than that, I feel, is the development of my understanding and appreciation of the nuances of what we are researching.

In other news, since we have finished the mooring work at Station Papa, we are transitioning to the “storm chasing” phase of the mission. “Chasing” is a bit of misnomer, since the ship can only travel at 12 knots, and the storms out here tend to be large and slow. Still, we have been looking closely at the wind and wave forecasts, and trying to position ourselves in the path of what looks like the biggest waves. There’s nothing extreme on the horizon, but I’ll keep you updated in the coming days.

– Mike

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