November 10, 2007
There are only a couple of days left for my oceanography assignment before I switch roles and become a marine mammal independent observer. I worked with the XBT again this morning and collected the chlorophyll samples. The picture was taken as I was firing the XBT probe into the water. The data collected is sent to the computer and a graph showing the water profile is created. This is all stored away for later analysis.
The chlorophyll sampling was also conducted and filtered away for chlorophyll counts. The picture shows me filtering the water sample where the chlorophyll is getting trapped on a small disc which will be put in acetone for later analysis.
Today was a closing mode day for the marine mammal observers. There are two types of modes that we are doing, passing and closing mode. On passing mode days, the ship doesn't veer off course from the set transect lines set by the cruise leader. This is a diamond shaped path 90 nautical miles long. The ship will complete one side of the diamond per day in each mode. Observers will spot mammals but can't "close in" on them for more accuracy. On closing mode days, if mammals are spotted, the ship can "close in" on the schools of mammals for accurate counts and identification. If we are lucky enough, the animals will bowride and the scientists can get biopsy samples. The schedule for closing and passing mode is every other day so today was a closing mode day.
I explain that because we did get a large school of about 40 spotted dolphins or so riding the bow! (I am still working on my counting of large groups) Today there were many sightings and the animals were so close, the scientists got a biopsy sample from one of the dolphins using the crossbow from the bow! I could clearly see the spots on the animals and there were some mother/calf pairs as well. More details and pictures to follow in the next few days!
Marine Science questions:
1. I have to take the XBT samples from the fantail of the ship. Where is the fantail?
2. The chlorophyll samples are taken from the port side of the ship. Which side of the ship is that?