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Alex on TV
Melanie Fewings watches the progress of Hurricane Alex on local TV in the ship's galley. The intense storm has forced us to stay in the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay until the winds and seas abate.

photo C. A. Linder, WHOI
Cruise - 2004 - R/V Cape Henlopen

Dispatch 01 - 3 August 2004
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Waiting for Alex...
by C. A. Linder

The past few days have been frustrating ones for us on the R/V Cape Henlopen. On July 31st, the day before departing Lewes, Delaware, we discovered that a tropical depression was brewing just east of Florida. With a sinking feeling, we watched as the depression gained strength and progressed northward to the exact location of our study area off Cape Hatteras. Hurricane Alex is now churning up massive waves and dumping inches and inches of rain onto coastal North Carolina and Virginia. Since the seas are far too rough for us to deploy our moorings, we have been hiding out in the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay waiting for the weather to improve.

OS200 in the rain
Jim Churchill (background) watches as Craig Marquette (foreground) readies the OS200 for a test cast in the Chesapeake Bay.

photo C. A. Linder, WHOI


We have been making the most of our weather delay by testing instruments and preparing the moorings. Jim Churchill and Teresa Garner have perfected the use of the OS200, a rapid-profiling instrument that is deployed using a modified fishing reel. Craig Marquette has loaded the chain for the first mooring. And several of us enjoyed a jog yesterday in between rain showers in the small town of Cape Charles, Virginia, where the Henlopen was tied up for the night. I will post more dispatches as time and bandwidth allow...