July 31, 2009
Today I went out on a jet boat and did bottom samples from 8-5. Sampling involved dropping a lead weighted clam-shell sampler, with its mouth propped open, to the sea floor, be it 40, 150 or even 200+ feet deep. The sampler is attached to hundreds of feet of line and is designed to snap shut when it comes into contact with the floor. To make sure that that happens, a weight is sent down the rope after the sampler reaches bottom to slam into the sampler. After that, it's just a matter of pulling the line up over a pulley and bringing the sample to the surface. We found solid rock, broken shells, sand, mud, gravel and various combinations of these at the 30 different sights we surveyed.
In addition to the interesting sediments, the swells here are incredible! The water can go from flat to 6 feet in a matter of minutes or quarter-miles! We bumped our way around Dolgoi and Wosnosenski Islands today. They're an amazing place, these Pavlof Islands!