ARMADA logo ARMADA Project -- Research and Mentoring Experiences for Teachers National Science Foundation logo


Journals 2005/2006

Julie Long
Farnsworth Middle School, Guilderland, NY

"Late-summer Ecosystems Monitoring Survey"
R/V Albatross IV
August 12-25, 2005
Journal Index:
August 12 - 13 - 14 - 15 - 16 - 17 - 18
           19 - 20 - 21 - 22 - 23 - 24 - 25

August 18, 2005
Moose the buoy

Really late last night, I woke up to use the bathroom. I didn't turn on the light because I didn't want to bother the people in the adjoining cabin. I'm writing this because when I flushed the toilet, the water glowed. The water gets pumped in from the ocean and there were bioluminescent plankton in the water. It was kind of neat.

Around 4:00A.M. this morning our CTD "crashed". There was no apparent reason for it as the batteries were new and supposedly good for 100 stations. Joe tried to change the batteries anyway, just to see, but a screw broke off. We ended up replacing the entire CTD. Good thing there are spares on board!

It has been another beautiful day at sea! At our first station today (around noon), Joan and I deployed our drifter buoy ("Moose") from the "Adopt a Buoy" program. A teacher that Joan works with joined the program but the buoy didn't make it to him in time for his cruise a few weeks ago. He passed the buoy on to Joan for this trip. Joan graciously invited me to be a "co-parent" of the buoy. We signed the buoy, put our school's names on it and deployed it. The actual deployment coordinates were 41 36.53 N, 67 27.21 W. We deployed it on a spot on Georges Bank (off the coast of Massachusetts) that Jerry thought would have the most interesting current patterns. Theoretically we should be able to get data from the buoy for 410 days. I'm excited to bring the information back to my school so that other teachers in my building can log onto the website ( and track "our" buoy.

Joan, a crew member and myself launching our bout "Moose". Hope he makes it all of the 410 days!

We crossed the Hague Line today, which means we are now in Canadian waters. We're on the far side of Georges Bank, technically in the Gulf of Maine. We're about 200 miles off-shore. We'll be heading back to shore soon because we are meeting a Coast Guard cutter at 10:00A.M., Saturday (2 days from now) to make a crew change. This afternoon I helped Nora with a bottom grab. It took 3 attempts; the first time only one side of the double grab was full because a rock lodged in the other side. We kept this sample to sieve for organisms but we still needed a sample for toxicity testing so we sent the grab down again. This time it didn't trigger and close. The third time worked beautifully. Sieving the sample turned out to be quite a chore because the sediment was so rocky. We spent a lot of time trying the remove the rocks. The ocean has been so calm today. As Joe said, it looks like we're on a big pond. It really looks like that- not a wave around. It's beautiful.