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Miraflores Locks

We passed through the gigantic Miraflores locks on the Pacific side of the Panama Canal this morning, and now we are in front of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Station on Lake Gatun. The Sorcerer has sampled here on two other occasions, so to continue our time course evaluation, we ready the...

Going Green to Blue

As we round the southern most point on our trip we notice that the water has gone from blue to green, and that there appear to be surface current and eddies in the water. We decide to stop and have a look with the CTD. As we lower the instrument from the aft cockpit, we encounter a layer of...

Costa Rican Dome

In Nicaraguan waters is a regular spring upwelling event sometimes referred to as the Costa Rican dome. Winds blow across the Central American Isthmus near Lake Nicaragua and contribute to an upwelling of nutrient rich waters. These nutrients enable phytoplankton to grow, and as we approach the...

Gulf of Tehuantepec

We spend the day transiting the famously capricious Gulf of Tehuantepec, but today winds were calm, and we were able to cut across the bay in good time. At the southern end of the gulf is an underwater seamount, so we maneuver the Sorcerer over the seamount in hopes of encountering an...

Acapulco Harbor, Mexico

There probably isn’t a harbor in Mexico more impacted by tourism and development than Acapulco. We pull into the stunningly beautiful harbor and sample in front of an area of high rise hotels. The depth of the spot we sampled is only 40 feet, so we just take a surface water sample. Of...

Sampling Blooms in Cabo Corrientes

Just south of Puerto Vallarta is Cabo Corrientes, and our satellite data indicate a large bloom extending 25 miles off the coast. As we enter the bloom the water turns an intense green, and there are numerous fish feeding in the area. Sampling conditions are ideal: bright sunshine, light...

Puerto Vallarta: Investigating the Influence of Coastal Development

Sampling today starts before sunrise when we arrive at Puerto Vallarta. In conjunction with our Mexican collaborators, we are investigating the influence of coastal development, particularly intensive tourism, on marine microbiota, so we take a sample of surface water in Banderas Bay and leave...

Strong Winds

Winds have picked up considerably in the last 36 hours, and tonight they are blowing in the 25 to 30 knot range, below gale force but still too strong to safely deploy our instrumentation. We sail past the plankton bloom near Cedros Island without stopping, but you can see the sparkle of the...

Blooms and Clear Skies

We left under clear skies and light winds, and within hours of heading out, we were sampling the waters off of the Coronado Islands near the US/Mexican border and plotting our sampling schedule for the next few days. The team passed around the latest satellite data from SeaWiFS, NASA’s global...

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