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Friday, February 4, 2011

RV Celtic Explorer Newfoundland Mission DAY SEVEN

Date: 04-Feb-2011
Time: 21:30 UTC
Position: 49 deg 12N 41 deg 06N
470 miles to go to Newfoundland  
Wind: 31knots Northerly  

Significant progress was made today with the welcome improvement of the weather!  Wind speeds were between 25-35 knots and wave height dropped from 6m to 4m in the afternoon.  We also had a few snow showers during the day and there is a noticeable chill in the air (temperature is down to 2.1 deg C) with the water temperature a balmy 13.32!

Daybreak - Moody Morning Sun by Sheena Fennell

For the first time in three nights it was possible to deploy XBT’s during darkness and five have been deployed so far today.  We have been reaching depths of up to 1,820m on the profiles when the weather allows and have ceased using the XCTD’s as the data return has been poor due to the conditions.

Data from these profiles at the Porcupine Abyssal Plain indicates the presence of Mediterranean water as a salinity maximum at a depth between 700-900m. 

This data is consistent with the Oceanographic Survey that was carried out 120 miles to the north earlier in January and it will be good to compare the remaining data back to the office. 
Large changes (0.5 deg C) in surface water temperatures have been seen between stations which are only 30 miles apart. 

Aodhan deploying an XBT off the port side. The XBT can be seen emerging from the tube!
Photo by Sheena Fennell

The bird and cetacean surveys continued during daylight hours and kittewakes, one puffin and fulmars both light and dark morph were sighted as well as three pilot whales and some common dolphins.

We now have about ten hours to go to Flemish Cap and will track westerly towards the northern end of the Grand Banks tomorrow. 

St.Johns is getting closer!!   

       

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