Written with ECE 2015/16 student Adriana Gallardo:
During our second semester on the ECE program, we carried out a two-day boat campaign for our Modelling Coastal Processes class. During the boatwork, we carried out similar activities to our trip in the first semester, collecting data that will be used for validating/calibrating a numnerical model we developed as part of the course; looking at the effects of a dredge channel at Bramble bank. The work was carried out by two teams over two days.
Before the trip, ECE students planned the route that was going to be taken and the location of the sites that would be used to get the measurements, and this was provided to the skipper once it was done. A job was assigned to each student, including ADCP and CTD loggers, CTD deployment (which was carried by at least four people), a general logger, a person in charge of water filtering for the CTD water samples, and last but not least a leader for the group, who had the job of talking with the skipper and making sure everyone knew what they were doing.
We agreed with Hachem Kassem and Dr. Ivan Haigh to meet at 8:30 at the National Oceanography Center, Southampton, to sail on the Conway vessel at 9:00. That morning was a little cold but the day looked promising, if we don´t count the technical issues we had with the CTD which were mostly fixed before we sailed away. As the day went by we realized that we had a lot of free time, due to a malfunction in the CTD sampling which left us without any water samples to filter. This free time was used wisely by drinking tea and eating biscuits, without forgetting to offer the skipper first. The people in charge of the CTD deployment were also in charge of the sand traps which were going to provide the sand samples to analyse in the laboratory later.
By the time we did the orange tracking (as Lagrangian drifters) it was already afternoon and the weather couldn´t be any better. We were at our third site in the middle of Bramble Bank when we decided to release the oranges into the water, which a classmate was very kind to bring, to follow and keep track of them for a while until most of them were dispersed. After this we returned to record ADCP transects before we sailed back to the NOCS. When we got there some brave people stayed to analyse the sediment samples we had collected in the laboratory.
Overall we learned a lot on this trip and the most important thing was that we obtained the data we needed to complete our mini-thesis assignment for this class.