A weary set of travelers returned from the Seychelles yesterday. As usual, we recovered instrumentation and met with local agencies. A departure from usual – some of our longer-term moorings were not-redeployed. However we did still redeploy several instruments around Mahé. Isa is busily plugging away at her ongoing analysis of dynamics around and atop the plateau, while new postdoctoral scholar, Alma is working to write a summary paper of the dynamics atop the plateau.
In January 2018 we returned to the Seychelles to recovery and re-deploy our moored instrumentation and extend our transect surveys. We also collaborated with colleagues from the University of Washington to deploy a mooring closer to the plateau shelf-break. The typical cast of characters (Isa, Rich, Geno, Sarah) were joined by Masters student Katelin Pedersen, PhD student Alfredo Giron-Nava, who helped tremendously in the field, and UW APL Oceanographer Ben Jokinen who helped with the shelf-break mooring deployment. We had excellent follow-up meetings with the Seychelles National Meteorological Service, the Seychelles Fishing Authority, and local students. We also met for the first time with scientists and researchers from the University of Seychelles (UniSey) Blue Economy Research Institute.
A paper in Oceanography was recently published highlighting the NASCar (North Arabian Sea Circulation – autonomous research) efforts. It includes a section on our NASCar Seychelles project – Seychelles Local Ocean Modeling and Observations (NASCar – SLOMO). And it highlights several of our photographs from the field, check out Isa, Maddie, Rich,Geno, and others on the cover page!
The field team is working hard in the Seychelles. Since their departure from the US on 28 May, the team has recovered and re-deployed most of our instrumentation and started some smaller-scale process studies. So far most of the data looks good, although we did lose some data from a faulty connection on one of the instruments (par for the course for field work). The team has been battling really rough seas (>7 ft swells!) meaning lots of green faces. Yet, despite the weather and adverse conditions, they are accomplishing a ton! The remaining team members will return in a week marking the end of this trip.
Isa, Rich, Rob and Hugo did a few tests just offshore of Scripps this week. The dive team (Isa, Rich, and Rob) practiced a mooring recovery/re-deployment while Hugo prepped a drifter. Then once on board the team released the drifter to test its buoyancy and tracking capabilities! Excited to use these tools in the Seychelles!
Geno, Sarah, Isa, and Rich spent 10 lovely days in the Seychelles doing field work. The conditions were ideal (felt like a lake, not the middle of the Indian Ocean!) and we accomplished a lot and met some potential local collaborators and students. We deployed 2 moorings, one on either side of the main island, Mahe. We also collected vertical profiles of currents, salinity, and temperature along transect lines at the north and south ends of the island. Preliminary analysis shows exciting results!
But after 72 hours of traveling time, a 12 hour time difference, and limited internet we were ready to be home!
See a full gallery of images below.