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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 25, 2009
Where have all the fish gone?

I got my midnight rats (omelets, yum!) and headed down to the wet lab. I found Jody, Lisa and Bruce sitting in a circle about to start yoga and Lisa cracked up. She said they were resorting to a "prayer circle" because their fishing was going so poorly! Jeff, Kristin and I were determined to have better luck. Unfortunately, this was not the case. With each pull of the trawl, we were obtaining only about one or two fish or none! It was discouraging and made the time go by slowly. We watched a movie in between trawls to kill some time and by the end of it around 4am, I could no longer keep my head up. I was falling asleep sitting in a very uncomfortable stool watching "Be Cool" with John Travolta and Uma Thurman - not a compelling movie! I finally decided to break down and make some coffee. Thank goodness for the coffee that the Dukies brought! For some reason, which none of us can determine, no matter how you prepare the coffee in the galley, it turns out worse than dirt. So I have been fortunate enough to use the whale team's coffee and coffee maker. It is heavenly. When I am on the night shift, there is a method to my drinking coffee. I wait until I can no longer hold my head up and then get coffee. If I drink it when I first come on shift, I will just crash about 4 a.m. and then coffee will not help! So, if I wait, the coffee will keep me going until the sun rises and then I am good until noon! I also got to try Toby's favorite drink, mate. Which is a South American tea that is high in caffeine. I was curious because so many people talk about how awful it is! Kristin even likened it to "drinking armpit smell!" Toby insisted that is all about the temperature of the water used. I tried it despite Kristin's description and it was not actually that bad! I do think that I will stick to my coffee, but I am not object to the mate now.

At about 9 a.m., we set the fish pots at the northern end of Dallmann Bay and then headed for a four-hour steam up to Low Island. The hope is to catch more around Low Island and come back in the morning to pull the pots. The trawls were not getting any better and we had to take a chance for a different fishing area. We expected some rougher waters because this is more exposed to the northern winds and closer to Drake's. As we headed north, the waters definitely got friskier and as I fell asleep in my bunk I was catching air with each roll. Fortunately, I had secured everything in the lab downstairs before coming up to my room. Usually seas like this clear the counters in the lab because everything slides off! Fortunately, I was too tired to be concerned with the rocking and let it rock me to sleep!