Another Day In Paradise


Nathan Laxague

Ho there, LASER blog followers-

On Saturday morning, it was decided that the R/V F.G. Walton Smith would hole up in Key West for the night (and for Sunday as well). The deciding factor? Well, it wasn’t Duval Street.


On 1/17/2016, over the five hours beginning at approximately 7:00 AM local time, the significant wave height (a somewhat arbitrary, if well-meaning measure of a sea’s characteristic wave height) increased from 2 feet to 17 feet in the region we intended to travel through. At the time of this writing, seas are between 5 and 7 feet at our traveling location. And believe you me, we feel every single one of those feet. I prefer not to imagine using the Walton Smith to traverse a sea state with three times the wave height. For reference, these are the conditions we had en route to Key West (during which the moving vessel profiler was deployed for testing):


Once we arrived to our safe harbor, the two days were well-spent, allowing the UM/RSMAS group to dress our towers and central truss,


run over 1500 feet of cable,


assemble drifters,


and meet with our compadres from the Masco VIII (the partner ship that will be shouldering the bulk of the drifter deployment load).


More of the shipboard systems will be coming online over the next few days, setting the stage for a successful observational expedition once we get on station and begin Phase One.

Nathan Laxague signing off somewhere between Drambuie and Dramamine.