July 18, 2008
Today I slept through breakfast. I ate lunch then slept for three more hours. I watched half a movie and then started to prepare some lessons for school. I am going to stay up for the night shift and work with the Krill Girls!
The night shift is a little different than the day shift. First off, we had to swab the lab and clean things up for a 10:00 a.m. inspection. Then we burned our garbage in the incinerator. That was hot! Once we returned to a clean lab it was time to work.
First, I was taught how to deploy the calvet net by Alexei Pinchuk. It is a simple task with about five steps that I can mess up. The calvet net drops to either 100 meters and straight up or if the depth is less than 100 meters, five meters from the bottom. The calvet net is designed to capture plankton, mostly microplankton and phytoplankton. After we were done with the calvet, I then went on the fantail and helped deploy and retrieve the bongo net.
The bongo net is named appropriately. It has two large diameter rings close to a meter in length. The net is probably 10 to 12 feet long connected to a cylinder. All Polyphemus would have to do is skin the cylinders and these bongos would be the right size. The boat then drags the net for a few minutes and hopefully there will be euphausiids (krill) in it. It was my lucky night. Last night was the night the "Krill Girls" and they decided they would all eat a krill to become one with the Bering. Well, the bounty was weak and they could not spare a single animal so I could not witness nor share in the ritual.
Following the bongo was the mocness. This net also gathers plankton but at different levels in the water column. The great thing about the mocness deployment was that I was the guy on the fantail doing all the hand signals for the A-frame and winch. I have some experience with rigging but it is a little different with the A-frame. With only a few butterflies in my gut I successfully deployed and retrieved the mocness under the watchful eye of Deck Supervisor Kruger and IT1 Von Kauffman. At that point it was 5:30 a.m. and I had been up 20 hours so it was time to go to sleep.