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Old 28-04-2015, 15:01   #1
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seismic surveys

On a couple of crossings from Texas to Florida I have met Large deepwater Seismic surveys(multiple boats towing multiple 10 kilometer cables). On both ocasions they required that I alter course so I would not interfere with their work. If I had prior information about their location I could have included that info in my route planning. Near shore survey info along with their locations are easy enough to get. I'm having trouble finding info on the deepwater surveys(out to 200 miles). Any geophysisists or petE's out there who know where I can get info.
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Old 28-04-2015, 15:30   #2
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Re: seismic surveys

As a retired geologist I am familiar with the deep water seismic surveys. The short answer, I believe, is no.

I know of no rule or reg that would require them to post their route or schedule. They are spending some VERY large $$$$ to gather that data and would not want their competitors to have any info. Think of them as long line fishermen. They don't advertise either.


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Old 29-04-2015, 17:47   #3
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Re: seismic surveys

You can check the live ships AIS map on "marinetraffic dot com" Live Ships Map - AIS - Vessel Traffic and Positions. Look for the ships "towing" - shown as a light blue "cyan" color. When you check their properties, they usually don't have a destination. If you get the names of the survey vessels from the survey company web-sites, for example you could search the vessel tab on the marinetraffic website for the name "GECO", you will see a list of their vessels and where they are currently operating. The AIS information will show the direction they are steaming so the seismic cable(s) will be behind this.

Good idea to miss them!

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Ed

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Old 29-04-2015, 19:07   #4
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Re: seismic surveys

Crossed two in storm conditions in the GOM once and all sorts of wicked currents running from the Mississippi and the Gulf Loop Current on a very unusual far N meander...not fun.

Sure would be handy to know their planned routes in advance, but I also know of no way to get this info. Maybe contact Jennifer Clark (Gulf Stream Guru) and she if has any suggestions. Maybe USCG has some suggestions too.

AIS would certainly be a helpful tool underway (I did the dance above pre consumer AIS), as is RADAR, a good RADAR reflector so their saftey vessel can see you, knowing associated lighting schemes (especially that trailing white they are supposed to tow), and a good VHF installation with a RAM mike at the helm (this is how their saftey vessel will communicate with you).
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Old 29-04-2015, 20:59   #5
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Re: seismic surveys

They required you to change course? Was that a safety issue for you or a convenience issue for them? Are the tows on the surface?
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Old 30-04-2015, 06:36   #6
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Re: seismic surveys

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Originally Posted by DeepFrz View Post
They required you to change course? Was that a safety issue for you or a convenience issue for them? Are the tows on the surface?
Ultimately a saftey issue, they drag a tow that is about 6 nautical miles long. That should easily categorize them as "restricted in ability to maneuver". Regardless, I'd be happy to move to avoid that tow.
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Old 30-04-2015, 07:51   #7
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Re: seismic surveys

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They required you to change course? Was that a safety issue for you or a convenience issue for them? Are the tows on the surface?

Like Belize said, safety. The tows are miles long and just on to just below the surface. Having been around the guns they use too, I can say that being on top of one of the seismic guns when fired would be none too pleasant.


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Old 30-04-2015, 09:23   #8
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Re: seismic surveys

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Originally Posted by Sailmonkey View Post
Like Belize said, safety. The tows are miles long and just on to just below the surface. Having been around the guns they use too, I can say that being on top of one of the seismic guns when fired would be none too pleasant.


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Wonder what effect those have on marine life?
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Old 30-04-2015, 15:16   #9
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Re: seismic surveys

Years ago I was installing a primitive form of cable/gun acoustic locating system on a seismic boat.. during some downtime the boat was surrounded by dozens of dolphins. When we went back on line we "chirped" the pingers to test them. The dolphins disappeared. I got the impression they were not happy.
i have heard anecdotal stories of echo locating systems disorienting species which use echo location to navigate.

If you do not have your radio on when the survey ship(s) try to contact you they will sent a 100 foot supply boat (called a chase boat) to get your attention. For them to alter course is a very, very expensive thing to do.
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