Last receiver recovered!

We did it! The last receiver has been recovered, giving us a total of 158 seafloor EM stations occupied in just about four weeks. Actually, we’re hoping this is the penultimate receiver recovery since we’re steaming back to station 220 on our first survey profile to see if we can persuade receiver Steelhead to release from its anchor. We had trouble communicating with Steelhead’s acoustic system and gave up on it back a few weeks ago, but now we’ve got some extra time on hand so we can drive around it to see if it can hear its release command better when the ship is at a certain azimuth; there’s a big seamount nearby that may be giving some reflections that muddle the acoustic signals heard by Steelhead and hopefully we will find just the right angle that allows it to hear its release command. Fingers crossed…

In the mean time, below are some photos from the last few days.

Our ship track since leaving Seward. You can see our three survey profiles that cross the deep trench of the Alaskan subduction zone. The shaded colors are high resolution multi-beam bathymetry obtained by lots of previous cruises in this region, but even so you can see there are still lots of gaps. When people say we know the shape of the surface of Mars better than we know the shape of the seafloor on Earth, these gaps are what they are referring to (and when zooming the map out, there are way more massive gaps in all the ocean basins worldwide).
A photo Jake shot of the RV Sikuliaq the other day when we were deep towing SUESI on the continental shelf. Jake went out with two crew members in the ship’s fast recovery boat to attach a few extra glass floats onto our towed EM receiver array located about 880 meters behind the ship and snapped this photo on the way back.
Jake taught the day shift how to make a locking Brummel eye splice in a line of amsteel rope and here he is watching Peter finish up tapering the end before its final tuck.
Day shift with the Alaska Peninsula in the background.
Day shift with the Shumagin Islands in the background.