August 1, 2009
Today I did bottom samples from the fantail (rear of the ship) and recorded sample findings in the plot room (area of the ship where data is added to various systems where it will eventually become nautical charts).
Like the manual sampling I did yesterday, today's sampling involved using a crane to drop an even larger clamp to the sea floor when it is over 200 feet deep. A deck hand mechanically operates the crane as well as the winch, which lowers and raises the clamp. We found solid rock, broken shells, sand, mud, gravel and various combinations of these at the different sights we surveyed today.
In the plot room, I logged the sample types and locations into the computer and communicated, via walkie-talkie, with the bridge and the fantail to coordinate when to deploy the clamp, whether or not a good sample was taken and when the ship was in the correct location for a sample to be taken.
All in all, it was an interesting and informative day!