August 26, 2005
We spent the normal working hours (nine to five) in the lab, me catching up on four days of journal writing and everyone else trying to find a solution to the technical difficulties. Steve spent a lot of time on the phone to technical assistance at the manufacturers of these expensive tools. Several trips out to the boat yielded partial solutions until replacement parts could be flown up from points south. Meanwhile, they scavenged for and joked about finding messenger tripped Niskin bottles that were used when these scientists were graduate students. Looks like we will be doing some "Old School Oceanography" as Steve put it.
After picking up Sue Moore (Sue was joining the team to conduct aerial surveys of whales) at the airport at 9:00 pm we headed for the boat. By 10:00 pm, we were aboard and ready to go for a whole night. We ferried gear, computers and people out to the boat, only to find the winch, essential to lowering and towing much of our instruments, in a tangled mess. With people on and off the boat several times during the day and launching and retrieving the zodiac, someone had accidentally hit the handle to turn it on. With no pull on the cable, it simply unwound on the spool and looked like something you would pull out of a giant's hairbrush. Bill and Ned felt they would be able to fix it, so off we went.
We didn't get far. A few miles into the lagoon we came to a halt as both Bill and Ned were needed at the untangling operation. Finally, we made the decision to return to land. It looked like they had a long night ahead of them. I went straight to bed, While Phil Alatalo went to look for a tool that may help and was determined to bring it back to them.