The summer 2011 CalCOFI cruise began smoothly with favorable seas for the first two transects that puts us over 300 miles out to sea.  Water temperatures are seasonal with warmer than average temperatures near shore off San Diego and below average around Santa Monica Bay.  Warmer water is pushing into the outer waters of the Southern California Bight likely caused by the Davidson Current.  The California Current is visible in our data when looking at the closeness of the isotherms of the 100 meter temperature between CalCOFI Stations 70 and 80, roughly 200 miles from shore.  Eggs from spawning fish have been sparse, and salps and pyrosomes have been numerous especially in waters coming up from the south.  Also noteworthy, oxygen around 100 meters is low compared to mean data although temperatures at that depth are seasonal.  Net tows, bongo, manta and Oozeki seem to be seasonally sparse of krill normally encountered in the waters behind the Channel Islands, possibly as a result of numerous species of whales observed on the cruise.  Winding up the cruise off Avila Beach we have encountered abundant krill in the Oozeki trawl with matching acoustic data.  The usual albatross, storm petrels, gulls tropic birds and terns was joined by a brown booby from parts south.

All toll, with only moderate winds and seas and steady work, it’s hopefully been an enjoyable way for Captain Murray Stein to spend his last cruise before retirement.  It has been all the more pleasurable with Mark Smith and Oscar Buon serving up some fine dining on steaks, fish and some fine ahi sashimi and poki plus a few celebratory cakes.   I can only hope to one day enjoy such a bounty to end my time at sea.
13Aug2011 DMW, Chief Scientist