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MBNMS and NMFS AUV Cruise Log July 10th - 18th, 2017



Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4 | Day 5 | Day 6 | Day 7 | Day 8 | Day 9

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map of transect locations for AUV cruise in MBNMS 2017 NMFS and MBNMS AUV cruise transect locations
click for a larger view (1100 x 1436 JPG, 736K)

Day 1 – July 10th, 2017

TOP

   
Crew Scientists
  Brian Yannutz
Richard Lydon
Jean de Marignac
  Liz Clarke
Curt Whitmire
Karen Grimmer
Sophie De Beukelaer
Jeff Anderson
Erica Fruh

Depart: 6:45am Return: 3:00pm  

Weather Forecast      
  Winds from the west at 5 to 15 knots; wind waves 1 to 3 feet; swell 3 to 8 feet from the northwest at 8 second intervals; patchy fog in the morning.
Planned Sites      
  Site #4 south of outer Soquel Canyon, which includes a proposed EFH closure and was selected by a collaborative group of fishermen, non profit organizations, and Monterey Bay Sanctuary in 2013 as part of the Collaborative Groundfish Essential Fish Habitat Proposal for Monterey Bay (7.8M PDF).

Deployed vehicle at 8:40am and survey leg began at 9:05am after the AUV maneuvered over to the start point. The AUV is programed to fly at an altitude of 3 meters over the seabed and it will snap images every 8 seconds.

Today’s transect at Site #4 transects a canyon head and then follows the side of the canyon. 95% of transect is over hard substrate area. Most of the previous research in this area is within the canyon (from CSU Monterey Bay).

small map showing slope and transect at site 4 small map showing hard bottom (in red) and past research data points at site 4
Left figure is showing the slope and transect at Site #4, and the right figure has hard bottom (in red) and past research data points.

At approximately 1:00pm at 235 meters the AUV hit a rock or ledge and was unable to navigate forward. The dive was aborted and the AUV was recovered thankfully with no damage. We motored back into port by 3pm and conducted a full inspection on the vehicle to ensure no damage was incurred during the dive.

image of pink sea urchins image of pink sea urchin and giant pacific octopus
Left image of pink sea urchins, and right of pink sea urchin and giant pacific octopus

image of spot prawn trap with spot prawn sitting on soft bottom Spot prawn trap with spot prawn sitting on soft bottom


image of spotted rat fish and spot prawn on soft bottom A spotted rat fish and spot prawn on soft bottom



Day 2 – July 11th, 2017

TOP

   
Crew Scientists
  Brian Yannutz
Richard Lydon
  Curt Whitmire
Karen Grimmer
Sophie De Beukelaer
Jeff Anderson
Erica Fruh

Depart:6:40am Return: 4:00pm  

Weather Forecast      
  Winds from the west at 5 to 15 knots; wind waves 1 to 3 feet; mixed swell northwest 4 feet at 9 second intervals, and southwest 3 feet at 15 second intervals; patchy fog in the morning.
Planned Sites      
  Site #1 is a small reef offshore of Davenport in federal waters, which was selected by fishermen and the Monterey Collaborative group as a proposed voluntary management area.

Deployed vehicle at 8:40am and survey leg began at 8:55am after the AUV maneuvered to the start point of the sparse grid which connected seven 500 meter long transects over the area of interest. In addition to seeing a number of humpbacks and Pacific white sided dolphins on the topside, the AUV took some nice images of the rocky and soft bottom habitats. This area has many large boulders and some large fish species including lingcod, flag and a cowcod rockfish. A number of mola’s were swimming along at the surface.

There were no mechanical issues with the gear, and all operations went smoothly.


image of a starry skate, a rockfish and crinoids A starry skate, a rockfish and crinoids


image of a basket star and seastar A basket star and seastar


image of a large flag rockfish A large flag rockfish


image of numeroussmall rockfish Numerous small rockfish


image of juvenile yelloweye rockfish, basket star and sea cucumbers Juvenile yelloweye rockfish, basket star and sea cucumbers



Day 3 – July 12th, 2017

TOP

   
Crew Scientists
  Brian Yannutz
Richard Lydon
  Liz Clarke
Curt Whitmire
Karen Grimmer
Jeff Anderson
Erica Fruh
Passengers  
  Dave Lott
Jennifer Johnson
Josh Keaton
Pushyani Kavari
     

Depart:6:45am Return: 4:00pm  

Weather Forecast      
  Winds from the west at 5 to 15 knots (decreasing to 5 knots after midnight); wind waves 2 feet or less; mixed swell west 4 feet at 8 second intervals, and southwest 3 feet at 15 second intervals.

We transited on the R/V Fulmar to Site #5 at Ascension Canyon, which is a proposed closure for the trawl EFH. We deployed vehicle at 9:20am and survey leg began at 9:45am after the AUV maneuvered to the area of interest along the lower part of the canyon wall at approximately 280 meters depth. At about 1:30pm the vehicle gave a signal that it was in the same place, and then began to ascend. The survey ended and it was discovered that the AUV had lost the 8lb ballast weight when it bumped into a ledge or wall in the canyon

Below is an image of the slope at Ascension Canyon, and the pink line is the AUV transect, which traversed a variety of depths and slopes during this particular survey

image of the slope at Ascension Canyon, and the pink line is the AUV transect click for a larger view (1280 x 960 JPG, 558K)


image of recent trawl tracks at Ascension Canyon head right next to a sea whip, plume anemone and rockfish Recent trawl tracks at Ascension Canyon head right next to a sea whip, plume anemone and rockfish.


image of spot prawns in the images we captured during the transect at Ascension Canyon head on Wednesday, July 12 We saw lots of spot prawns in the images we captured during the transect at Ascension Canyon head on Wednesday, July 12.




Day 4 – July 13th, 2017

TOP

   
Crew Scientists
  Brian Yannutz
Richard Lydon
  Liz Clarke
Curt Whitmire
Sophie De Beukelaer
Jeff Anderson
Erica Fruh
Passengers  
  Geoff Shester
Ashley Blacow
Erin Kinclad
     

Depart: 6:38am Return: 3:00pm  

Weather Forecast      
  Winds from the northwest at 5 to 15 knot; wind waves 1 to 3 feet; mixed swell northwest 3 feet at 12 second intervals, and south 3 feet at 15 second intervals.

Today we deployed the AUV at 8:45 AM to survey Site 3a at Point Sur. The transect began at 9:12 AM within a Voluntary Management Area at a depth of 106 meters, went through the trawl Rockfish Conservation Area (RCA), then down a canyon head through a proposed re-open EFH area at a depth of 490 meters. This area has not yet been explored so we look forward to reviewing the thousands of images we collected today and analyzing the habitat and benthic biology. The AUV completed the entire planned transect by 12:39 and the R/V Fulmar headed back to port at 1:30 PM. While the AUV was on the bottom, we enjoyed quite a show from Pacific White-sided Dolphins close to the boat and continued to see quite a lot of sooty shearwaters

image of NMFS staff Jeff and Curt keep constant watch over the AUV while it is on the bottom NMFS staff Jeff and Curt keep constant watch over the AUV while it is on the bottom.


image of our visitors from Oceana putting on a survival suit within 2 minutes, clocked by the captain Safety first! Everyone, even our visitors from Oceana, must get on a survival suit within 2 minutes, clocked by the captain.


image of Plum anemones (sp. Metridium) on a metal tank at Point Sur Plum anemones (sp. Metridium) on a metal tank at Point Sur.


image of Longnose skate, pink urchins and white cucumbers (sp. pannychia) Longnose skate, pink urchins and white cucumbers (sp. pannychia).


image of Roughnose skate and white cucumbers (sp. pannychia) Roughnose skate and white cucumbers (sp. pannychia).


image of Dover sole and white cucumbers (sp. pannychia) Dover sole and white cucumbers (sp. pannychia).


image of Pom Pom anemone (liponema breviconis) and seastar Pom Pom anemone (liponema breviconis) and seastar.




Day 5 – July 14th, 2017

TOP

   
Crew Scientists
  Brian Yannutz
Richard Lydon
  Liz Clarke
Curt Whitmire
Karen Grimmer
Jeff Anderson
Erica Fruh
Passengers  
  Paul Michel
Marianne Rogers
     

Depart: 6:45am Return: 3:30pm  

Weather Forecast      
  Winds from the west at 10 to 20 knots; wind waves 2 to 4 feet; northwest swell 4 to 6 feet at 11 second intervals; patchy fog in the morning.

We deployed the AUV at 8:50 AM to survey Site 2 at Davenport Reef, off Santa Cruz. The transect began at 9:05 AM within a proposed EFH closure at a depth of 90 to 100 meters. This area has some existing data from MBARI and CSUMB, and the purpose is to see how the habitat has changed since the last survey. Popoki the AUV follows the seafloor at an altitude of 3 meters and you can see by this profile how closely she can profile the bottom. The purple line is the AUV and the green line is the seafloor bottom.

image of depth and trajectory of AUV Popoki Popoki the AUV follows the seafloor at an altitude of 3 meters and you can see by this profile how closely she can profile the bottom. The purple line is the AUV and the green line is the seafloor bottom.


The AUV completed the entire planned transect by 1:50pm and all operations went smoothly. Topside the team enjoyed a breaching humpback and again, hundreds of sooty shearwaters were seen on the water.


The dive survey at Davenport Reef provided interesting images of hard and soft bottom habitats that included boulders and large flat rocks many of which were covered in crinoids. In addition, we see some cobbly patches of brachiopod beds (small bivalves). Here are a few of the highlights:


image of a sole sits next to a sea whip surrounded by white brittle stars A sole sits next to a sea whip surrounded by white brittle stars.


image of Brachipods beds are founds in patches between some soft habitats Brachipods beds are founds in patches between some soft habitats.


image of a purple seastar sits on a boulder between two barrel sponges A purple seastar sits on a boulder between two barrel sponges.


image of a starry rockfish hangs out with crinoids A starry rockfish hangs out with crinoids.


image of a couple of sponges on a boulder habitat A couple of sponges on a boulder habitat.



Day 6 – July 15th, 2017

TOP

   
Crew Scientists
  Brian Yannutz
Richard Lydon
  Liz Clarke
Curt Whitmire
Karen Grimmer
Jeff Anderson
Erica Fruh
Marianne Rogers
Passengers  
  Paul Michel
Marianne Rogers
     

Depart: 6:30am Return: 1:30pm  

Weather Forecast      
  Winds from the west at 10 knots...increasing to at 10 to 20 knots in the afternoon; wind waves 2 feet or less...becoming 3 feet in the afternoon; northwest swell 3 to 4 feet at 10 second intervals; patchy fog late in the morning.

We departed Monterey in heavy fog at 6:30am and motored to Carmel Canyon and deployed Popoki the AUV at 7:53am for an almost 5 hour survey dive. This area is proposed to re-open to trawl fishing as the soft sediment slope habitat provides suitable habitat for some groundfish species and it’s close to Monterey Bay ports for easier access to fishing grounds.

image of AUV being deployed from the R/V Fulmar at outer Carmel Canyon. AUV being deployed from the R/V Fulmar at outer Carmel Canyon.


image of AUV recovery using the crane and tag lines to control the swing. AUV recovery using the crane and tag lines to control the swing.


Here are some images from the dive at site 7 west of Carmel Canyon, which is a proposed re-open EFH site and is currently lacking monitoring data on its’ seafloor inhabitants.

image of orange brittle stars and white cucumbers with a thornyhead rockfish Orange brittle stars and white cucumbers with a thornyhead rockfish.


image of a grooved tanner crab (opelio spp) with sea stars (brisingid spp) filtering plankton A grooved tanner crab (opelio spp) with sea stars (brisingid spp) filtering plankton.


image of a sablefish (aka black cod) with a dover sole and a thornyhead rockfish A sablefish (aka black cod) with a dover sole and a thornyhead rockfish.



Day 7 – July 16th, 2017

TOP

   
Crew Scientists
  n/a   n/a n/a

Depart: n/a Return: n/a  

Weather Forecast      
  n/a

No log for July 16th as the cruise was cancelled due to worsening weather conditions

 


Day 8 – July 17th, 2017

TOP

   
Crew Scientists
  Brian Yannutz
Richard Lydon
  Liz Clarke
Curt Whitmire
Karen Grimmer
Sophie De Beukelaer
Jeff Anderson
Erica Fruh
Passengers  
         

Depart: 6:30am Return: 3:00pm  

Weather Forecast      
  Winds from the northwest at 15 to 25 knots with local gusts to 35 knots; wind waves 4 to 6 feet; northwest swell 7 to 9 feet at 8 second intervals; a sunny day.

We departed the Monterey harbor at 6:30am to transit to Site 3b at Point Sur. We were on site at 8:15am, deployed the vehicle at 8:43am and the AUV decended to depth and started the dive survey at 9:05am. We decided to end the dive at 11:45am as the AUV became stuck a few times in the rocks. Later in the afternoon, we were able to review the photos and saw that the AUV was navigating across some very large fractured outcrops that could be granite slabs.

image of a hydrocoral on a rocky ridge Hydrocoral on a rocky ridge.


image of a vermillion rockfish hiding under a ledge next to a rock dotted with sponges and cup corals Vermillion rockfish hiding under a ledge next to a rock dotted with sponges and cup corals.


image of a crinoids on big granite blocks with Sebastomus rockfish. Crinoids on big granite blocks with Sebastomus rockfish.



Day 9 – July 18th, 2017

TOP

   
Crew Scientists
  Brian Yannutz
Richard Lydon
  Liz Clarke
Curt Whitmire
Sophie De Beukelaer
Jeff Anderson
Erica Fruh
Passengers  
  Austin Shilstone      

Depart: 6:30am Return: 11:30pm  

Weather Forecast      
  Winds from the northwest at 15 to 25 knots with local gusts to 35 knots; wind waves 3 to 5 feet; northwest swell 3 to 5 feet at 7 second intervals; sunny day in Monterey but foggy at site.

We departed the Monterey harbor at 6:30am to transit to Site 8b in the Cabrillo Canyon area. We were about 10 minutes from the site at 9:50 am but due to the mixed swell state, the 20 knot wind, some breaking waves and the short period of the swell, both the scientists and the crew of the R/V Fulmar decided not to risk deploying the AUV. We headed back to the dock and started demobing.


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