Finding Eddy Vol. 2

The last week of our cruise has begun, and the eddy hunt is aiming for an eddy in the East of Trinidad and Tobago, Eddy2. The trick with catching Eddy2 is to first estimate his dimensions by using sea level anomaly maps which give insight on surface eddies that are often overlying deeper eddies, like Eddy2. After setting the coordinates we then chose our track, sailing through the estimated surface eddy while continuously measuring velocities with the ship’s ADCP and underway CTDs. This data was then used to calculate Eddy2’s actual centre. And against all odds, this procedure worked perfectly, and Eddy2 was cut in half by 8 CTD stations. Other than during the hunt for Eddy1, Eddy2 was caught right away and his secrets could be revealed. However, before we got to Eddy2’s mysteries, a demon sea creature crossed our way and attacked our MVP during one of his chlorophyll measurements. With the help of our extremely well-equipped microbiology team we ganged up on the sargassum monster, freed our MVP successfully and incubated the monster.

The Sargassum Sea Monster attacking our MVP Photo: Melina Mehlmann

Now, Eddy2 is a romantic. He has a warm and oxygen rich heart with a salty soul. Apart from his insights he appears rather low in oxygen, though. As his predecessor, Eddy2 is from Brazilian heritage and just like Eddy1 he rotates in cyclonic direction. 

During the search for Eddy2 our hidden friend the cicada has not left. The spy still gathers all the information he can get and we now suspect that he might have been working together with Meteor, who we met this morning. 

After finishing the investigations into Eddy2’s life, our cruise is coming to an end. That is why we collected a Glider after breakfast, who was also part of the eddy investigations and has been of great help to us. Unfortunately, another sargassum monster was hiding in the waters around our Glider and attacked just as we were recovering him.

Recovering a Glider Photo: Melina Mehlmann

As we are taking course back towards Barbados, all of the equipment is being packed up in boxes and instruments are taken down and stored in containers. Night shifts are over and everyone is taking in the extra hours of sleep.  The cruise has given new insights on eddy secrets. All of us are thankful to have been given the chance to be part of such an amazing project and the experiences we made during the cruise will help us in our future endeavours. Our gratitude goes to the crew on Maria S. Merian who always helped us operating our instruments and proofed to be a good and reliable team.

Melina Mehlmann