August 14, 2009
Early this morning there were two bottlenose dolphins sited and the operation was shut down. During the shutdown, they found that the compressor that sends air to the guns was not building up enough pressure. After trouble shooting for a while it was determined that they needed to clean out the filters. This was done and now we are back in business. Another problem was that the streamer has extra "noise" in it. This messes up the data. So while they worked on the guns, the streamer was pulled in to determine where the electrical leakage was. So we wait - patiently. To make the project work there must be about four days total of data collected. I wondered if it was going to happen.
Most of the day was spent with the crew from Scripps working on the compressor, guns, and pulling in the streamer. It was decided that part of the experimental portion of the streamer would be removed to help remove the drag on the sensors.
During the afternoon when we were not collecting data or firing the guns, a whale was sited but it was too far away to be a problem for our collection. The observers thought it was a finback whale.
Around 6:30 they tried one more time to work the guns and streamer so they could record data but the compressor was not working properly so everything was shut down. If they are not up and running by dark, the data collect cannot begin after dark because the observers can't see if there are any mammals in the area. They are racing to get the problem fixed!
The compressor is still not working properly and so it was decided that one gun would fire until the filter was too filled to work and then fire up the other one while the first is cleaned. I see the frustration in their faces and feel for them. To have planned for so long to do this and have this kind of problem hanging over their heads is so hard!
At sunset the seas were calm and the clouds were clearing. Maybe with the high pressure that is coming in from the west the sunny weather will bring a solution to the problem.