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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 27, 2009
Final Trawls

Tonight before my shift, I played my first hand of poker with Lindsey, Reny, Andy, Elliott and Colin (the remaining members of the whale tag crew onboard) in the lounge. Fortunately, we were only playing with chips and there was not any money involved! I won one hand and that was it! Fun stuff, but I confirmed my lack of a gambling nature! Afterwards we watched the first of the Alfred Hitchcock film fest, Rearview Window. I have seen this one before, but it is such a great Jimmy Stewart movie! Grace Kelly's not bad either in it! By the time, they put in Vertigo, it was time to start my shift and it was off to fishing the final round!

Jeff, Kristin and I came onto our final midnight shift with our final round of midnight rats. Bruce, Jody and Lisa had minimal success trawling during the day after our pull of the fish pots in Dallmann Bay. We only had until 4 a.m. because we had to be back at Palmer Station by 1 p.m. in order to offload the fish and allow the whale tag team to get the zodiacs reloaded and head out. Because we only had a few hours, we did not start our usual method of killing time, movie watching, between trawls. Instead, we mostly were delirious (zombieism). The situation was disintegrating quickly as Chance and I sang the Bonnie Tyler song, "Eclipse of the Heart" at the top of our lungs with the stereo blasting in the MT shop (I was really impressed he had this on his iPod) and Jeff donned the Rastafarian hat with the fake dreadlocks to lure in the "rastrofarian" fish. The final two trawls, I got the opportunity to put on the safety harness and lock into the yellow danger zone on the back of the ship to help Toby pull in the nets. It was so great! Looking out into the darkness with the ship rocking in the swells and pulling the net in was a rush! And guess what - we got the elusive rastros! Even though it was just two more for our stock, we pulled them in! In order to mark the end of our trawls and fishing opportunities in Antarctica, Kristin cooked up a few of the C. aceratus species of icefish that we had more than enough of and that were not doing so well already in the tanks. We first discussed eating them sushi style, but decided against that after remembering how parasitized they were in our dissections! Kristin did a phenomenal job of cooking them with dill and olive oil, and they were a tasty 4 a.m. snack to memorialize the trip. Melissa commented that this was some of the freshest food that we have had in a while on the ship, as we are getting near the end of the trip. We also decided that we are a select few that have ever enjoyed such freshly caught icefish! Thanks, Kristin!

Strapped into the safety line in the Yellow Danger Zone for Trawl Retrieval