Land Ho!

Yesterday was an amazing day at sea. In the morning we got to see a pod of Orca (YES ORCAS!!!!) swimming past the ship. Check out Steve Constable’s photo of the orcas here. We made our way to within about 10 miles of Unga Island in Shumagin islands group just as the clouds were clearing, giving us a scenic view of the Shumagin islands as well as the nearby Alaska Peninsula coast, including Pavlof volcano and Pavlof Sister. The clouds kept clearing throughout the afternoon as we deployed SUESI for surface electromagnetic transmitter towing across the shallow waters of the continental shelf (similar to surface tows we did in a paper published today about mapping offshore groundwater on the US Atlantic coast). As the evening set it, the skyline lit up as the sun set just to the right of Pavlof, blazing the sky into a spectrum of yellow to orange to purple colors.  Check out the photos below.

Panorama of the Sikuliaq’s back deck as we prepared to deploy SUESI, a surface towed receiver, and two GPS transponder floats.
Chris ready to start deploying the towed array.
A Vulcan three-axis EM receiver (front) being deployed along with two surface buoys containing GPS transponders (middle and back).


Pavlof and Pavlof Sister volcanoes viewed from 50 miles offshore.

Sun setting behind Pavlof and Pavlof Sister volcanoes.
The after glow of the sunset lasted for a few hours; even the night shift got to enjoy it at midnight – a benefit of being so far north and nearly at summer solstice (i.e. the longest day of the year).