August 6, 2007
After locating ITP-1 last evening, we reached the location of the Beaufort Gyre Exploration Project Mooring A early in the night and started doing CTD casts and taking all sorts of biogeochemical samples. The sampling went through the night, and at 6 am the WHOI guys sprung into action. Jim Dunn, Kris Newhall, and Rick Krishfield first did a survey to accurately locate the sub-surface mooring (interrogating the acoustic release near the ocean floor to see how far it is, and triangulating the position), then the captain broke the ice above the mooring, and finally Kris sent the release command shortly after 9am. The big orange float appeared right in front of the Louis, and from there the whole recovery went really well. By lunch time the whole mooring was on deck, with all the instruments in great shape. It was a very swift and smooth operation.
Then the plan was to go back to "Camp Smiley" and recover ITP-1. Unfortunately, the fog rolled in just after the end of the mooring recovery and the visibility rapidly went down. We sent the helicopter to look for the buoy, but they were not able to find it again. Since it reports its position only once a day near 6:30 pm (local time), we didn't know where the drifting ice took it. By then the fog was so thick that it was impossible to fly, and the search pattern we did with the ship didn't lead anywhere. after a few hours we decided to give up (for now), and head to the Northwind Ridge (west) to do a series of CTD casts.
Later that day, ITP-1 called home and we figured that at some point the ship had been within 2.5 miles of Camp Smiley. Too bad the visibility was so horrible that we couldn't see it!