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Journals 2005/2006

Denis Costello
North High School, Torrance, California

"The Ecology and Oceanography of Harmful Algal Blooms"
R/V Atlantis
July 6 - 26
Journal Index:
July 6 - 7 - 8 - 9 - 10 - 11 - 12 - 13
      14 - 15 - 16 - 17 - 18 - 19 - 20
      21 - 22 - 23 - 24 - 25 - 26 - 27

July 23, 2005
The End of the Grid

Today marks the end of the normal grid survey. We will have surveyed the last of the LBC stations and then start our third survey, of the drifters and the paths that they have taken. This new survey will also allow for other science party members to take samples outside the normal grid area.

CTDs after the Grid survey. View full version pop-up.   James Falkner at the controls of the CTD. His responsibilities include operating the software, communicating with the winch operator and tech, to fire the Niskin bottles and to coordinate which science groups will sample for each cast. View full version pop-up.

Since the sampling schedule is about to get lighter, I will be able to help Sean and Caroline with filtering their incubation experiment samples. I met with them to discuss the plan for sampling their experiments.

Caroline Whiston and Sean Doran discuss when samples are to be read by the fluorometer. Keeping track of readings ensure that all groups will be able to analyze their samples at the appropriate times. View full version pop-up.

For the rest of the day, I read chlorophylls on the fluorometer and sampled when needed. Maureen and Julia were starting to acid-wash polycarbonate bottles for storage for the next cruise. The cleaning process consisted of washing bottles with 10% hydrochloric acid, followed by two Milli-Q rinses. Clean bottles are then filled with Milli-Q, leaving a small space for additional hydrochloric acid to be added before securing them for our arrival in Seattle.

Maureen Auro and Julia Betts take a break from acid-cleaning sample bottles. Maureen is watching a CTD cast through the lab's door. View full version pop-up.

After dinner, someone remarked how the water looked different. Upon closer inspection, it was determined that the surface was covered in Velella velella (By-the Wind Sailors), cnidarians that by utilizing a "sail", can be blown by the wind across the sea. Sean cast a bucket over the port side to snag one. While one board, we marveled at its color and design. Nature's careful engineered design of this animal allowed for it to travel this far out to see without expending any energy. We spent about 10 minutes looking at it before putting it back in the water.

Here I am posing with a Velella velella in a bucket. The surface water was covered with these cnidarians. They have a "sail" which allows the wind to blow them across the water. View full version pop-up.   A close-up of Velella velella. View full version pop-up.

After dinner, I came back down to the lab to help finish chlorophyll readings and assist with one more CTD sampling. I concluded my day by watching a movie and doing my laundry.