We head upriver in a speedboat to catch up to the M/V Strong, which left earlier that
morning to save time. We were starting four miles upstream from Walnut Bend landing…about
14 miles upriver from Helena. We caught up to the Strong before reaching our final
destination. It was good to be back on board. We relaxed while we completed our
journey to river mile 684 (measured from the Gulf of Mexico).
We found out that the Chirp replacement was coming that day. Woo-hoo! It would be
later in the afternoon when it would arrive.
To go up and downstream in day segments would be cumbersome. Therefore, plans were
again revamped, and we divided the trip into two main treks. Trek 1 would be from
Randolf landing north of Shelby Forest down to river mile 684 between Tunica and Helena.
Trek 2 would be from Hickman, KY to Randolf landing. We wanted to hit Hickman because
the Corps had mapped a plunge pool there being formed by the Mississippi River. Something
structurally (fault), stratigraphically (clay) or a combination of both was causing
the Mississippi River to scour an additional 150 ft downward from its already 100-foot
depth. There’s no waterfall there…it’s happening underwater. We would map the plunge
pool with the Chirp and Huck and Jim, then head under full steam south to Caruthersville
to complete our survey toward Randolf landing.
The day was not without incident. One of the researchers had to be rushed from the
boat upstream to a waiting van for transport to a Memphis ER for a non-life threatening
incident. The researcher was not injured and is fine now. To add to the excitement,
the seismic equipment had a close encounter with one of the Mississippi River buoys…both
buoy and equipment are fine.
The Chirp arrived! It is working fine and data is starting to stream in from it.
High resolution, shallow depth.
Never a dull moment!
Tomorrow we start at Randolf landing and work backwards toward river mile 684.