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Journals 2003/2004

Sandy Pratt
Woodstock Academy, Woodstock, CT

"Role of Zooplankton grazers in harmful algal bloom dynamics"
R/V Endeavor, Bay of Fundy
June 30 - July 8, 2003

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July 7, 2003

It's Monday. I do not remember doing Sunday. Caroline does not remember Sunday either and she was not sick. Yesterday just went by in a white blur. There are no secrets on board. I was surprised that a number of the crew asked me how I was doing and joked about preparing steak dinners for me.

I only made it to a little after 1 pm last night. I asked Allan if he could handle the last net tow alone and he assured me he could. I went to bed tossing and turning for well over an hour. I should have stayed up. I guess I eventually fell into a deep sleep, as I never did hear Lynne come to bed or get back up. I checked with her today and she finally got to bed sometime after 4 am. She gets very little sleep, but is always cheery.

Today was a very restful day.

I have been doing great on 1/2 a Dramamine. I helped Maura take water samples from the Niskin bottles and watched the two MOCNESS tows. The second MOCNESS result was amazing. The concentrated water from the cod end was literally red with Calanus in the 0 to 12 m sample.

I was surprised when we checked a sample of the red water under the scope. It is mainly the antennae of the Calanus that are bright red and responsible for the color.

In between the brief science activities, we did some whale watching from the bridge. Now there can be no more jokes about what a dud this whale watch tour was and wanting to get our money back. This morning we saw dolphins in the distance and for quite some time this afternoon we watched a fin whale feeding at the surface while we were steaming slowly towing the MOCNESS. Today, the sea is almost like glass and when we are moving slowly you can see the area of disturbed water the whale leaves. I am very happy about a calmer sea. The swells were definitely a problem for me yesterday. Although, when I mentioned them to the Captain he retorted "What swells?"

A test MOCNESS with no cod ends was deployed to calibrate the sensors. For the hour or so we were towing, I just sat around listening to the scientist talk on the aft deck. This is a most pleasurable experience. Everyone is so relaxed today. Work is winding down. The scientists are now disassembling the nets on the MOCNESS which is quite a process. I was wondering whose job it is to check all the nets for holes. Maria told me it is her job. She will bring them to a Laundromat, wash them in a commercial washer and then check and repair them. Each of the 9 nets contains many yards of micro pore mesh.

We are now done deploying instruments and we do not have to don hard hats for the rest of the cruise. Happy days!

After dinner, I downloaded the second disk of pictures onto the ship computer and again renamed each file. Hopefully, Lynne will put only the good pictures on the trip disk. I seemed to be a shakier photographer on the second disk.

It was a beautiful night and the trip through Cape Cod Canal was wonderful.

Caroline was so excited to see cars again going over the bridges. I watched our progress from the bridge for a while and then I found out how to get to the bow of the ship and a number of us stood out there until we were in open water again. Everyone is watching a movie, now. I left in the middle. I am going to try to get a normal night's sleep and actually get up for breakfast. This is sadly the end of my being sci8. We were each given a number for accessing the computer and email. I will be delighted to set foot on land again although I have not been seasick at all today. It is astounding how solid a bond was made between everyone on the trip. It will be difficult to walk away from them all.

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