10/12/99: Took University of South Florida Department of Marine Science Coastal Ocean Monitoring Prediction System (USF-DMS-COMPS) team 60 nm offshore to repair and retrieve data from two acoustic-doppler current-profiler (ADCP) buoys that have been deployed there. Returned in severe afternoon thunderstorms!
10/20-21/99: Took two cores in the sands off Anna Maria Island (south of the mouth of Tampa Bay) with the pneumatic vibra-corer, then returned and swapped it for the new Rossfelder electric corer. Went back out to the same positions and took one core before we had to abort due to increasingly bad weather conditions. We were trying to get two cores with each system to compare for penetration, compaction, and other artifacts.
11/23/99: Returned to the coring test station off Anna Maria Island with the Rossfelder electric vibra-corer and took two more cores for comparison with the older pneumatic coring system. The difference in penetration between the two methods was probably caused by changes in sediment composition during the proximal passage of Hurricane Irene, so no conclusions could be drawn.
11/28/99: Rescued one of Eckerd College Marine Science Department's 19-ft research boats that had been set adrift by vandals the previous night. We had to use the deck crane to pluck it off a boat ramp where it had been left high and dry by the receding tide. This was one instance where shoal-draft vessels do rock! Another of their vessels was dragged out of the mangroves.
12/2/99: Took USGS-GD senior managers into Tampa Bay to demonstrate the new electric coring system. Present were Dave Russ, Gene Whitney, Patrick Muffler, Pat Leahy, Rama Kotra, Jan Morton, Steve Bohlen, and Barbara Wyant with Lisa Robbins, Terry Edgar, Jack Kindinger, and Jim Flocks from the SPFC. Nobody (but me perhaps!) seemed to mind the fact that we were running the submerged system on 220 volts A.C. generated aboard our aluminum vessel!
1/28/00: Took the USF-DMS-COMPS team to a local barrier-island backwater to recover a bottom-mounted ADCP package, and then went south off Sarasota to deploy one of their new boundary-layer current/nepheloid-layer monitoring instrument pods.
2/8/00: Took the SPFC seismic wizards Dana Wiese and Shawn Dadisman out around Tampa Bay to test a new Chirp sonar digitization system that they wanted to evaluate for possible acquisition later. The shallow-field data looked good and they seemed pleased with the operation of the integrated system.
2/9/00: Went into dry dock to haul and rebuild the three main engines (the vessel is unstable in the water without the engines' 9,000 lbs. ballast weight) and do some minor service on the jets in preparation for a busy spring work schedule in Louisiana. The vessel will be out of commission until 3/29.
in this issue: Monitoring Hawai'i Coral Reefs