It’s the second weekend out here on the Tasman Sea for the TTIDE leg 3 crew aboard the R/V Revelle. Today we are pushing hard to finish recovering all four remaining moorings still in the water. If the team can make all that happen before darkness falls tonight that will keep the TTIDE project ahead of schedule and give the scientists extra time to conduct “yoyo” and “towyo” operations – filling important gaps in our view of the internal wave energy pulsing across the Tasman Sea. There are only a few days left until the R/V Revelle steams “back to the barn” and for all aboard it’s starting to feel a bit like the final countdown.
Dawn broke gray and chilly but the howling westerly wind and the short, steep windswell it generated has mercifully laid down. It was a great way to start the recovery of TTIDE “M4”, a 2300 metre tall mooring designed to capture the energy of internal waves breaking in the shallowing waters of the continental slope using two highly specialised McLane profilers.
The McLane profilers are “wire-crawlers”, programable robots that climb and descend the mooring line over and over and over again, one million metres worth of travel in every one of their large internal lithium battery packs. These profilers come jammed with an array of instruments that