Not the greatest day today. I had been hoping to deploy another of my sound source moorings, but at the last minute it didn’t work out. Since we added this side trip toward Greenland, I had an opportunity to re-position a sound source mooring that was actually scheduled to be set during the next OSNAP cruise leg. The new position would have meant that it was easier to track the RAFOS floats over the next few years. I didn’t think I would have the opportunity to put a sound source at the better location when we planned the cruise tracks six months ago. But due to the unexpected deviation of our cruise to recover the Dutch mooring, I thought, “Ah Ha! A golden opportunity to improve our ability to track the floats .”
So I spent a good part of yesterday thinking and re-thinking this re-positioning and deciding on the best new position that would not take us too far out of our way. I really agonized over this potential change in plans. On the one hand, our original sound source mooring posisions were well thought out and I think we had a good plan given the constraints of where the vessel would actually be going. Now I was considering altering some of that plan, which had been in place for many months. Should I change it? Should I not change it? After weighing all the pros and cons, I decided, okay, I’ll change it–the benefits outweigh the risks.
This put the wheels in motion to preapre for an unplanned mooring deployment. Spools of wire rope were hoisted down from the upper deck. Strings of glass balls (for flotation) were prepared. Heather turned on the sound source so we could make sure it was working properly. Then we just had to wait until we got first to the Dutch mooring site so they could do their recovery, then steam 15 miles to the south of that location to the new position for the sound source mooring.
Weather turned crappy in the afternoon, almost as soon as we reached the Dutch mooring site. A cold rain was falling and the breeze was picking up. But the recovery went along more or less smoothly, especially considering that the Dutch team hadn’t planned for this work either. Just when they were almost done, the winch that is used by all the teams to deploy and recover moorings started to act strangely. Suddenly, it would only work in one direction–it would pull in but not pay out. This was okay for the Dutch as they finished up the recovery of their mooring, but it was not good news for me. I needed the winch to be able to pay out. There was some discussion and scratching of heads and checking of the manual for the winch, but to no avail. We couldn’t get it to work as I needed it to, so my mooring deployment was cancelled.
This of course is not the end of the world. I can go back to Plan A and have the sound source mooring deployed on the next leg as originally planned. But that will not be as good a location as I had picked for the new spot. And I feel like all my work choosing the new location was wasted. It would be easy to write right now, “Oh well, these things happen.” and eventually I will accept that statement. But at the moment, I’m just darn disappointed.