Back To Sampling In The Black Sea and Rough Rough Weather

September 9th 2010

Hello everyone!  I know it has been a long time since the last post from Sorcerer II.  Let me take the time to explain………… early August we sailed to Greece.  As I have mentioned in the past we have permits with each country to collect samples, these permits have certain time windows and other country specific stipulations.  Once stipulation on the Greek permit was that for each Greek sample collected we must have a Greek collaborator onboard Sorcerer II. 

One of the biggest problems when scheduling sampling on a sailboat is the weather……….and trust me weather is going to be a topic on many upcoming blogs.  So there we were, certain dates we could legally sample during, dealing with the most intense weather systems in Sorcerer II history, and scheduling local observers to be onboard (the month of August is much like the states, lots of people taking vacation at the end of the summer, so getting someone on the boat at the right time was a big challenge).  We decided to make our way up the Aegean Sea through the Sea of Marmara and into the Black Sea.  With most weather systems blowing from the north this would put us in a great position to do an intense month of sampling back down to Crete.  The problem was actually getting up the Aegean Sea; we had many days where we had to stay on anchor in sheltered bays due to 30-40 knot head winds.

Map of the upcoming sampling transect

During the month of scheduling and positioning of Sorcerer II we took the time to let crew take personal time off the boat, do some PR about the expedition with major Greek news media and Dr. Venter was able to give lectures in Athens, Greece and Sofia, Bulgaria.  I can’t lie; we also sailed around some of the most beautiful places I have ever seen, more on this on my “tourist” blog coming up about Greece.

Satellite Imagery of Aegean and Black Sea

On Sept 7th Sorcerer II left the dock from Nessebar Bulgaria on what was planned to be a 2 week sampling transect from the Black Sea, through the Bosphorus and Sea of Marmara into the Aegean Sea down to Crete.  We collected 6 samples from 3 Black Sea sites, including the deep anoxic zone.

CTD Profile of the Anoxic Black Sea

Nessebar Bulgaria

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