May 24, 2009
We pulled away from Palmer Station at 8 a.m. to pick up the fish pots and then head to Dallmann Bay to begin fishing. We picked up the fish pots at about 10 a.m.. They were successful! Lots of the L. kempi in the pots, which was the target species. They are found much deeper than the other species and Jody Beers is going to do retinal work on them. I helped Melissa, Chance, Jamee, and Webster wind up the hundreds of feet of rope that came in with the pots to get them ready to use in Dallmann Bay. This gave us some time to chat and I learned how Melissa started working as a marine tech. She is originally from Minnesota and spent several summers working with Chance's family charter fishing as a deck hand in Seward, Alaska. She has always loved fishing and did a lot of fishing with her father growing up. Last year she worked in McMurdo Station and this has been her first experience on the ship. It is so interesting to find out how different people working on the ship ended up here! Another example is Jamee, the Marine Programs Coordinator. She has a huge job of organizing all of the members of the science parties and all aspects as well as helping out with the science projects. She is also from Alaska and has been on the Laurence M. Gould for seven years!
As we travelled through the Neumayer Channel northward, I helped the few whale team members onboard. We started the survey of the channel for whale sightings. Reny and Andy showed me how to enter sightings into the computer program called VisSurvey. The program allows you to enter the names of the survey team members, the environmental conditions (glare, visibility, etc) and each time a whale is spotted; it is entered with a bearing and distance from the ship. Being able to estimate distances is definitely an important part of this, so Reny helped me with my estimates and I started scanning the starboard side with the binoculars. I spotted one minke whale. There were only a few noted in the channel, which was sort of expected because it is not a protected bay like the ones they had been working in and finding so many whales. As we exited the Neumayer and entered the Gerlache after lunch, the swells and whitecaps made it impossible to survey and our efforts were over. We got to Dallmann around 4:00 and I was off to bed to try to get some shuteye before my midnight to noon shift. Good Night! (or afternoon? - it really is all relative!)