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Journals 2009/2010

Jason Pavlich
Red Hook Central High School, Red Hook, NY

"Estimation of Primary Productivity and Particle Export Rates as a Function of Phytoplankton Community Structure in the Bering Sea"
R/V Thompson
June 15 - July 15, 2010
Journal Index:
June 12 - 13 - 14 - 15 - 16 - 17 - 18
        19 - 20 - 21 - 22 - 23 - 24-25
        26 - 27 - 28 - 29-30
July 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 7 - 8 - 9
       10 - 11 - 15

June 17, 2009
First Day at Sea

Pat woke me up at 10:00. I had wanted to get up about 3 hours earlier but apparently had not set the alarm on watch correctly so it never went off. At least I know now that sleeping will not be an issue. Oversleeping might be, but lack of sleep will definitely not. He said no worries as nothing has happened anyway. I was informed that there would be a fire drill at 10:30 so I got dressed and waited for the bell to sound. Right on schedule the captain came over the loudspeaker and said "This is a drill. This is a drill. This is a drill." One long ring of the ship's alarm bell indicated a fire so I proceeded down to the main lab for muster with my PFD and immersion suit in hand. Again we reviewed the protocol. Should there be an actual fire a team of three crew members headed by the chief mate would rush to the scene to assess the situation. This is done while the fire teams are getting suited up so that when they arrive there is no lost time in figuring out what to do. Hopefully the fire can be contained but if is deemed uncontrollable, the order would be given to abandon ship. At this point we would put on our immersion suits and proceed to the back deck to load into the deployed life rafts.

After lunch, I spent some time in the lounge writing my journal entry for yesterday, watched a CTD and MOCNESS net deployment from the pilot house, set up my ship assigned e-mail account, and waited for dinner. Pat said I should take the time to appreciate land while I can still see it so I spent some time on deck watching the Aleutians pass by our starboard side.

The Aleutian Islands are all part of the Alaska Maritime Wildlife Refuge, which protects over 2,500 islands, spires, rocks, and coastal headlands. These places provide critical breeding habitat for many marine animals including puffins, fur seals, sea lions, sea otters, among others. Some of the refuge's islands are so isolated that they contain species not found anywhere else on the planet. Once again, the ARMADA Project has provided me with the opportunity to see a corner of the world that I would never have thought possible.

The Board of Lies is already living up to its reputation. I went to sleep at around 19:00 expecting to start sampling at around 02:00. I awoke at 23:00, showered, and made my way to the galley for some coffee and toast. Pat then informed me that we were now scheduled for a 06:30 CTD drop and there was nothing to do but sit and wait. So I headed back to my room, picked up my laptop, and went to the lounge to finish this entry. Maybe now I can catch a few more hours of sleep before the work begins.