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Journals 2003/2004

Lynn Masellis
McGinnis Middle School, Perth Amboy, NJ

"Late summer ecosystem monitoring survey"
R/V Argo Maine, Gulf of Maine
August 19 - 30, 2003

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DAY 3: Thursday, August 21, 2003

Up and out at 5a.m. John knocked and gave me my wake-up call. I was up and ready to go. I realized I didn't know what to wear. (Girls always have that problem even aboard a small laboratory yacht!) It was so dark in the bunks down under the ship you couldn't tell what type of weather was up on deck. Therefore, I dressed in layers. Jerry got things underway on the deck after breakfast. I must add that breakfast was yummy and Herb the cook made homemade blueberry pancakes. He got the blueberries from a farm in Maine-ahhhhh my diet is dead; I just couldn't refuse such tender, fluffy, pillows of love. So-- as the schedule continued we were to complete two stations back to back. We utilized the big bongos, the baby bongos, and the CTD. This was like a big exam. I just started learning yesterday and now we are putting everything on one line and sending it out for samples. The computer needed to be kept accurate along with the decent time and bottom time and return time. There was a lot to remember and I told Jerry, "please work with me I'm only a guppy."

The morning was foggy and the nets were filled with tiny copepods. They stuck to the fine mesh net and made it hard for me to gather every last one of them. But after the nets were cleaned Jerry and I collected and preserved the samples. At a later date, these samples will be compared to the to the samples found closer to the coast of New England.

Oh this day turned out to be a beautiful one. We have tiny waves and a nice cool breeze. The weather report says that is 95 degrees in Boston. Here on the boat the temperature feels about eighty and a constant cool breeze is blowing. This is why I signed on -yes these are some of the benefits to this new voyage I'm experiencing.

Along with the weather the wild life still visits at different times and different places. After my shift I went up to the bridge of the boat. I watched the crew carry on with their daily activities, and while I was looking at the wake behind us I saw a beautiful little yellow finch. I wondered how far it had been flying and maybe it would stop and take a react on the ship. It did right outside of the bridge cabin. I went a little closer to observe and before you know it the bird flew right into the cabin at me. I ducked and wondered what it was doing. A freeloader is one thing a crazy bird is another? Within seconds it was gone and my excitement was over. I learned that animals along with people do not act the same when on land!

Dinnertime was a "ham-dinger." We all enjoyed a nice salty pork steak, and we were all visiting the water fountain frequently that night. I was told to eat well that night because a low-pressure storm was coming in this weekend and it might make me feel a bit sick and a little less hungry. I obeyed the captain and ate a good portion of dinner. Herb cooking is all-homemade and the vegetables were from his garden in Maine. The cuisine keeps you content, no matter what the conditions on this little boat.

Later after dinner my shift had two stations. One was right after dinner and the other about 8:30 p.m. That night I learned about bottom dwellers. Jerry and I could become part of the historic team of scientific bottom dwellers because we let the bongos go too close to the bottom. We needed to pick up the line earlier now that we were in the Georges Banks. There were more slopes at these stations. So after our stations were completed and we were off to the next stop a few hours away, we could not go back and repeat it. We just salvaged what we could and made notes on our data about what happened.

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