Hello from the R/V Antea, the Southwestern Tropical Pacific is calling!
While the first leg was dedicated to the deployment of the three moorings (M1, M2, M3), the second leg focuses on fixed stations (48 h) of CTD and VMP measurements just next to those moorings and later on also at the shelf break and close to the seamount Stylaster. At these fixed stations we will conduct so-called yo-yo casts where the measuring device is repeatedly lowered to the ocean bottom and heaved back to the surface. Going up and down, over and over again.. This can be quite tiring, especially for the VMP since we lower the instrument by hand to a depth of up to 1200 m to ensure free fall. There comes a lot of rope together: depending on the depth and the amount of profiles taken up to 8 km per shift or 48 km per day that is lowered by hand! Luckily, we have a winch though to bring it back to the surface.
In the end, the hard work is definitely worth the effort. Stay tuned if you are curious about the objectives of these yo-yo casts including some first results!
Arne Bendinger on behalf of the science team aboard SWOTALIS
P.S.: We are apparently not the only ones interested in the VMP and the yo-yo cast. We have had some visitors recently, oceanic whitetip sharks, that approached us while circling around the VMP deployment.