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Cruise Number: MF99-05
FOCI Number: 2MF99
Ship: Miller Freeman

Area of Operations:

Bering Sea


Dutch Harbor, Alaska, April 21, 1999
Dutch Harbor, Alaska, May 1, 1999

Participating Organizations:

NOAA - Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory (PMEL)
NOAA - Alaska Fisheries Science Center (AFSC)
University of Alaska - Fairbanks (UAF)


Chief Scientist:

 William Parker  M  PMEL

Participating Scientists:

Carol DeWitt  F  PMEL
David Kachel  M  PMEL
Rick Miller  M  PMEL
Elaina Jorgensen  F  AFSC
Stacey Smith  F  Univ. of Alaska


Objectives of the Cruise:

1. Recover and deploy moorings at the FOCI study areas of Nunivak Island, St. George Island, site# 2, and site# 6.
2. Recover and deploy AFSC and NSF moorings in the Bristol Bay study areas.
3. Conduct biological sampling in the project areas.
4. Complete at and between mooring sites.


Mooring Deployments: 13

Nunivak Is.- 1
St. George Is.- 2
site# 2- 1
site# 4- 1
site# 6- 1
Slime Bank- 4
Cape Newenham- 1
Bristol Bay- 2

Mooring Recoveries: 10

St. George Is.- 4
site# 2- 3
site# 6- 1
Bristol Bay- 2

CTDs: 30

Bongo Tows: 15

Calvet Tows: 7

Satellite Drifters: 2


Summary of Cruise:

The MF99-05 cruise itinerary and plot included in the attachments.

The mooring recovery operations of special intrest are discussed:

KC98-1(26 meters), KC98-2(68 meters):

Both Bristol Bay 1998 Crab moorings were parted from their anchors by using a drag line. Both mooring were recovered with their instrumentation and no apparent damage. The 8242 acoustic releases appeared to have responded properly to the release command, but were fouled at the release lever. Biological growth was on and around the release assembly.

99BS-2A(76 meters):

8242 release (22763) did not respond to releases command, but did release the mooring from the anchor and was recovered. Release operated properly after recovery.

98BSST-2F(72 meters)

University of Alaska mooring. Sediment Trap section of mooring was recovered. 8242 release and flotation above the release was lost when the mooring line was parted during recovery.

98BSP-2F(72 meters)

No response from 8242 release (23699). Dragging did not locate the mooring. A search northeast and southwest was conducted without results. A search will be conducted during the September cruise.

98SG-1(1000 meters)

This mooring was deployed in 600 meters of water in 1998. The instrumentation on the mooring was four current meters, one Seacat and one 8242 release. During the recovery, the release interrogations found the mooring had been moved 5.6 miles into 1000 meters of water. The release responded correctly to all commands, but the mooring failed to surface. Dragging operations recovered the release but not the current meters. The remaining glass floatation on the mooring held the release off the bottom but not the two current meters and they were probably lost during the dragging operation. Examination of the recovered line showed that the mooring had been previously,recovered to the center of the mooring, tied off and cut dropping the lower part of the mooring. A cut rope line was recovered at the top of what remained of the mooring. The missing top half of the mooring ( two current meters, one Seacat, two 28" steel floats), was probably recovered by the ship that recovered the top half of the mooring.

The mooring deployment operations of special intrest are discussed:

99IF-10(53 meters)

Ice coverage started 9 miles south of the projected mooring location. The mooring was deployed about a mile south of the projected location in the only open ice free area available. 2.25 meters of chain was added below the center float to adjust for the bottom depth.

99IF-2A(60 meters)

Ice coverage started about 20 miles south of the Nunivak mooring location. Total ice coverage required the mooring to be deployed two miles from the projected site. 3 meters of chain was added to the mooring to match the mooring location depth.

99BS-4(74 meters)

This mooring was designed to be deployed north of mooring 99IF-2A, but the ice prevented the Miller Freeman from getting beyond the 2A deployment site. The mooring was redesigned and deployed at mooring site# 4. The change in water depth from the projected location and site#4 was 26 meters. Added two MTRs, 26 meters of chain and replaced a 28" float with a 30" float. The mooring was deployed during a snowy night.

99BS-6(993 meters)

Mooring operations at 99BS-6 were normal until fog set in toward the end of the deployment. The mooring is deployed anchor last and with 900 meters of line out the floats were not visible through the fog. It is necessary to observe the top subsurface floats after the anchor is released to make sure the kevlar mooring has not parted. After releasing the anchor, the ship turned 180 degrees and ran back toward the 41" floats. The floats were seen through the fog and past the ship about 100 meters to the port and submerged shortly afterwards.


We would like to thank the officers and crew of the Miller Freeman for their efforts to complete the PMEL/AFSC operations on MF99-05. A special appreciation to the Commanding Officer Gary Petrae for getting us to the mooring positions in the ice, and to Chief Engineer Steve Bush for manufacturing a drag hook for the recovery of the St. George mooring.


Cruise Intinerary: Page 1, Page 2

Mooring Plot

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