Cruise No. MSM68/2: 04.11.2017 - 14.11.2017

“Collecting Atmospheric Reference Data over Oceans (CARO)“ a board of “FS MARIA S.MERIAN“

Farewell dust

We woke up in the harbour of Mindelo this morning, while the dust plume is transported further downwind. The sky is clearer than yesterday, but it is still uncertain whether flights can land on Sao Vincente. Moving through the haze was very impressive and almost scary when we got closer to land in the late afternoon. We clearly got dust deposition...

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Ship time flies

It feels as if we have left Emden just yesterday, but it is already time for packing up most of the instruments. Today is busy since we will already be in Mindelo in the afternoon. We still have another station at the Cape Verde Ocean Observatory in the morning. Here, we run a CTD for the entire ocean depth of roughly 3.5 km and take 19 water...

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Waiting for the dust

I get up an hour early and hurry up the stairs to the pile deck. I am just too curious about the color of the rising sun over North Africa. A beautiful orange disk is my reward and gives me some idea of what’s about to come. I spend the rest of the morning checking the latest dust forecasts and measurements. It is a tricky business as the model...

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Radiosonde through the cloud

The crew launches a radiosonde for the 12 and 18 UTC window every day. If you have a background in meteorology, you already know how valuable these measurements of the vertical profile of air temperature, humidity and winds are for weather predictions, even more so over remote ocean regions where the network of routine observations is sparse.

The...

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Strong breeze and low clouds at the Azores high

Oh, look at the weather development in North Africa. The models forecast an eastward extending Azores high and strengthening northeasterly winds over Northwest Africa that mobilise and transport desert dust in our vessel’s path during the next days. The pattern looks like what we would refer to as Harmattan surge characterised by a postfrontal...

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The awakening of the robot

5 am - early rise for an exciting start of the day. I just have a quick sip of coffee and go down to the working deck. It is time for breathing life into our robot friend #170356 with a shot of water in it’s veins and animating the heart, a small hydraulic pump, with the build-in battery. We hear the ARGO float ticking, but it only lasts for 30...

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A special day

The swell is even more impressive when you look at the water from the working deck. We are here to ask for the crew’s help to get the ARGO float from the storage. We will test and deploy it early tomorrow, and want to prepare everything we can today. The CTD-rosette for the vertical sounding of the ocean near the deployment of the float is already...

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The beauty of our growing cloud record

Showers evolve around the vessel and the sun highlights them with rainbows. The swell of 4-6m is following us, and we watch waves and weather playing with the vessel. The waves give the sailing boat a hard time for competing in the race. They are nevertheless faster than us. In the meantime, our cloud record keeps growing every day. We are working...

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Increasing swell and visitors

Some of us got little sleep last night. The increasing swell with waves of around 4m height made the vessel swing in all directions. In the morning, I was relieved that all cloud instruments are working fine. Given the loose contacts during the installation of the ceilometer, I had some concerns for entering the rough sea towards the West. During...

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With full speed through the channel

We need to hurry a little bit for freeing enough time for the planned stations. With a speed of roughly 15.5 kn, we have reached the English Chanel by the morning. We wake up and have a beautiful view on the British coastline. By now the air has cleared as we have passed the trailing cold front of a mobile cyclone over the North Sea in the course...

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