Deb Kelley and John Delany relaxing during a break during the Leg 1-Leg 2 port call in Newport, Oregon. Credit: Mitch Elend, University of Washington.
After spending two days with our “feet on the ground,” the R/V Thompson once again pulled away from the dock in Newport, Oregon to begin the second Leg of the NSF-OOI Cabled Array VISIONS’15 expedition. The port call was busy with off loading and loading many tons of gear, including an 18,300 lb winch to install Deep Profiler Moorings. We said goodbye to old and new friends made on Leg 1, and welcomed new undergraduate students from the UW, Grays Harbor College and Western Washington University for Leg 2. A few of us used the time to catch up on some much needed sleep and to talk to our colleagues at NOAA-PMEL in Newport also working on Axial Seamount. At 0800, there was a safety meeting for the new comers, and at 1030 the R/V Thompson began its steam out to Slope Base. It was a great departure under blues skies - just off the jetty, a whale breached the surface multiple times to send us on our way ~ 125 km to the west to the Slope Base site. Here, our first dive will be to install an HPIES instrument, at 2900 m (9514 ft) beneath the ocean’s surface. It is good to be out to sea again…onward we go…..