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Journals 2004/2005

Linda Hoffman
Palms Middle School, West Los Angeles, California

"Structure of Populations, Levels of Abundance,
and Status of Humpback whales (SPLASH)"

NOAA Ship McArthur
July 28 - August 28, 2004
Journal Index:
July 28 - 29 - 30 - 31
August 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9 - 10 - 11

          12 - 13 - 14 - 15 - 16 - 17 - 18 - 19

          21 - 22 - 23 - 24 - 25 - 26 - 27 - 28

August 16, 2004

6am. Breakfast.

7am. I send Bob an email that I am fine. We are just circling in a safe shelter right now, so I am doing photo identification. The black flukes are so difficult to match that once the ship starts moving, I will have to stop, as I am getting dizzy. At the beginning of the cruise I was able to zip through identifying hundreds of flukes without any difficulty and I actually was able to okay a match. Now If I get two done a day that's a lot. I must admit I have gone over some of the same flukes three times just to make sure I haven't missed anything.

Well, the ship is on its way to Kiska 100 miles from the Russian shore.

10:36. We are still two hours behind Los Angeles time. I am still not on any particular shift but I go up as often as I can and I help the scientists resight whales. Mike, one of the experts on Orcas, has brought his own zoom digital camera, so I am able to use the ships camera when I am on deck. Yesterday was not a productive day for Juan Carlos. The seas were too rough to launch the air one, and I believe the Orcas were very smart. The bull separated from the rest of the pod to lure us away from his females and calves. Then they we never saw them again. They're truly the wolves of the sea. They're fast, smart and strong. They don't have any predators. I am truly impressed by their grace and beauty as well as their intelligence.

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