Monday, September 13, 2010

Recovering our last pump mooring at night

Our two plankton pumps are affectionately named “Paul” and “Ringo,” as if they are rock stars of the deep sea. Today Ringo responded as usual to our acoustic release and surfaced during daylight (photo right). However, Paul was down on center stage on the seafloor, situated near the top of a hydrothermal mound with a lot of topography all around. He did not want to leave the spotlight of our acoustic transducer. Finally, we were able to get a good angle to send the release command, and Paul lifted off the bottom. Most of the crew and science party went to the bow to wait and watch in the dark. Paul gave us such a light show with a strobe, green glow sticks, and reflective tape, that we saw him before he broke the surface. The photo upper left is Paul’s recovery on deck, and you can see his reflective “P.”

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