July 23, 2004
In addition to being home to hundreds of birds, Albatross Bank has proved to be a haven for humpbacks. All hands were active from sunset to sundown aiding in photography and biopsy efforts to document this cetacean rich area. As we near the end of Leg 1 of our cruise, all members of the crew seem to linger a bit longer on the deck, and I am eager to make the most of my final days on the McArthur II.
Tonight, I again stay up past my bed-time to observe another "after-hours" effort, that of the CTD deployment. CTD stands for conductivity, temperature and depth, and refers to a water sampling device deployed on a large winch off the fan tail of the ship. The CTD rosette carries 12 niskin bottles that sample water at varying depths. The deployment of the CTD is a nightly event, usually occurring at 10 PM, as soon as mammal observing efforts are completed for the day. Once the samples are taken, oceanographic data is analyzed by NOAA oceanographer Lillian Stuart and the results are added to NOAA's catalogue of world-wide data.
Return to Journals Index