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Short update from the Sargasso Sea

This morning just after breakfast we arrived at station 1 after 24 hours of strait steaming. In past years, station 1 hasn’t had what it takes to be the place of study, but we decided to check it out anyways.

At 9 am, the CTD went overboard to check the profile for suitability. We were looking for a clean halocline and thermocline (change from high salinity to low and high temperature to low), but instead found a mixed area with long lines across the chart. These long lines amounted to blobs of data across a chart in which we should have been able to draw clear lines of depths we wanted to study based on their different profiles. The danger in not having these clearly defined areas is that the water column is unstable, whether in flux for the season or at the edge of a moving current. Either way, you can’t say much about phytoplankton growth in an unstable area and scale it up to talk about the Atlantic as a whole.

So we’ve moved on, heading 100 nautical miles to the south, where we will try our CTD again after dinner. If we are happy with the results, we’ll stay here for the next ten days or so before heading home. If not, we’ll head even farther south.

~Bluegrass Blue Crab