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Mooring deployment
From left, Frank Bahr, Craig Marquette, Brian Kidd, and Sandy Parks guide the surface buoy of the deep mooring over the side.

photo C. A. Linder, WHOI


Bow wave
The Cape Henlopen meets a wave head-on.

photo C. A. Linder, WHOI


Cruise - 2004 - R/V Cape Henlopen

Dispatch 02 - 7 August 2004
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Stormy Weather
by Glen Gawarkiewicz

Our progress has been hindered by the stormy weather of this past week. Hurricane Alex delayed our departure until Tuesday night, and our transit to the outer shelf was a rough ride. However, we were able to deploy our moorings as well as Dana Savidge's moorings on Wednesday. A two knot current was present at the outermost mooring, and we deployed in six foot seas thanks to the sterling work of Craig Marquette and the excellent help from the ship's crew.

Thursday we were able to deploy the Scanfish, the towed vehicle. We were able to complete a large grid (50 by 50 miles, roughly) despite fairly strong winds (20 knots) and choppy seas. Frank Bahr was able to process some of this data and we obtained some very detailed section showing the shelfbreak frontal jet running into the Gulf Stream. We did see colliding current systems. The Scanfish also showed extremely complicated layering of continental shelf water and Gulf Stream water masses. The Scanfish flew very well despite the rough seas, under the expert guidance of Brian Kidd and Wynn Tucker.

Friday morning, we were confronted with a strong cold front, with winds ranging consistently from 30 to 35 knots all day and gusts up to 50 knots. This is not a common occurance in August! We had to suspend Scanfish operations for most of the day as seas were running up to 12 feet. In the evening we were able to deploy the Scanfish and do a north-south section for forty miles along the two hundred fathom isobath. This section shows cold, fresh shelf water flowing out into the Gulf Stream.

Saturday, finally, we have had a fine day with only 20 knot winds. We saw numerous pilot whales, cruise ships, and a loggerhead turtle. Teresa Garner and Jim Churchill have been studying mixing processes. The seas decreased all day, and we had a beautiful sunset. Tonight, we head in to Cape Charles to refuel. Hopefully, we will have better weather next week.