August 14, 2005
2:30 A.M.- We just completed station number 4. It took about 20 minutes. Nora, Joe and I are on watch. Joe ran the computers that tell the winch operator how far down to send the bongo nets and CTD. Nora and I washed out the nets (Joe showed us how with the first net and we did the second net) and then I "pickled" the first sample and Nora "pickled" the second. We have an hour until our next station, which is about 10 nautical miles away. I looked at the jars at the second and third stations that had been collected during the watch I wasn't on. They are so different from our first sample, which was mostly green. The second and third (and the one we just got) are mostly white- icthyoplankton and zooplankton.
5:30 P.M. (same day)- We are in the waters south of Long Island. Jerry had set up a program on a computer in the lounge off the wet lab that shows us exactly where the boat is, where we are heading, and how long it will take us to get where we are going. He labeled the boat icon "SS Minnow". I'm glad that there is a lot of humor aboard. We are headed west toward New York City. Our planned route takes us just south of NY Harbor and then back east toward the end of Long Island. We will have 23 stations in this area.
My body is quickly adapting to the weird sleep schedule. It's almost 6:00P.M., time for bed, and I'm getting sleepy. That's such a good thing!
We saw dolphins today! I was on watch and Joan was taking pictures of me working on deck. Suddenly a small pod of Atlantic White-sided dolphins passed our boat. Unfortunately we were getting ready for a station so our boat had really slowed down and the dolphins didn't play with us. We tried to get pictures but they were just too quick. I got a water shot!
Today has been kind of slow because there have been long steams (traveling times at sea) between our stations- three and four hours. I feel better about what I'm doing though. It's amazing how quickly you settle into routine and learn what you need to do.