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Journals 2008/2009

Megan O'Neill
Fairhope High School, Fairhope, Alabama

"Thermal Tolerance of Antarctic Fishes"
R/V Laurence M. Gould
April 21 - June 11, 2009
Journal Index:
April 17/18 - 19 - 20 - 21 - 22 - 23 - 24 - 25
        26 - 27 - 28 - 29 - 30
May 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9 - 10 - 11
       12 - 13 - 14 - 15 - 16 - 17 - 18 - 19 - 20
       21 - 22 - 23 - 24 - 25 - 26 - 27 - 28 - 29
       30 - 31
June 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9 - 10 - 11

May 12, 2009
Sacrifice to the wind gods

Woke up at 11 p.m., got my midnight rats (rations - which is always interesting at this time of day - you get to decide if you are moving on to breakfast or back to dinner. I ended up doing a little of both -probably the only time in my life I ate scrambled eggs and potato salad together!) and met up with Kristin and Lisa to prepare for our night ahead. According to Jody and Bruce coming off their shift, there was not much being caught and the winds were harsh. The hope was for the winds to diminish for our shift. Kristin came up with a good idea to help us stay awake - movies on my laptop! However it was so loud in the lab from the ship rattles and engines, we could not hear it. Fortunately, the whale tag group left a set that we borrowed in their lab! Thanks, whale team! We watched one of my favorites of all times, O Brother Where Art Thou with George Clooney. What a good one! So that got us until about 2:45 a.m. The trawls worked just like they did on our first fishing trip, let the net get out about three times the depth of the water, trawl for 20 minutes and then pull it up on deck to see if we got any of our six targeted species. Our trawls were minimally successful. On the first pull, the wind gusts on deck were around 50 knots! It was difficult even to stand up and I could not keep my hardhat on, so I had to get one that had a bungee cord chinstrap. I also started out with too many layers and actually got hot pulling in the net and cleaning up the bycatch off the deck! Lisa and Kristin were also highly amused because I looked like an orange Michelin man in my Mustang suit! After that I reduced my layers to three and was much more comfortable each time we went to pull in the net. With the wind and my lack of mobility on the very first pull, as I was tossing the bycatch from the shovel over the side of the ship, the shovel slipped out of my grip and careened overboard! Julie was downwind and saw the shovel go flying past into the water and gave me a disapproving look. I said, "At least I did not go over with it! Besides that is my sacrifice to the wind Gods to give us some reprieve and it is biodegradable - metal and wood." I think the sacrifice must have worked, because the winds lessened with each trawl. Thank goodness! Despite our "Gibby Dance" on the deck to help bring up more fish, our numbers did not increase much. Dan also happened to be the only guy on deck, which is a rarity, too! Lindsey, Julie, Kristin, Lisa and I definitely outnumbered him and Julie commented that "now he feels like she usually does" because she is usually the only female with the males. Go girls!