Last night’s trawl concluded the fishing part of this cruise, so the fish of the MAR may once again feel safe. The last sea-living creatures (except from the crew) to see the deck of James Cook this time around, will be that of the amphipod trap and Megacorer. The trap and PAL will be recovered tomorrow, and that’s it. Some CTD’s, a couple of EK60 transects, a short stop for calibration of the EK60, and about 1000 nautical miles later we are back on dry land.
The mood on the ship has taken a turn towards “Channel Fever”, even though were not actually coming up the channel. It’s a strange thing, and I’m sure an anthropologist could write many papers on it, how the number of smiles you see each day increases exponentially for each day the shore gets closer. People are singing and laughing on deck, and in the wet-lab where an aura of seriousness and smelly fish have ruled, there is now smiles and jolly fish-gutting going on.
Not to worry though, this has not turned in to a cruise liner yet, there are still lots of scientific work going on. Last night’s trawl produced much processing work, there has been a CTD, an optical cast, a coring, and deployment of the amphipod trap and PAL.
Since the sky has been nice and clear today, Victor and Gavin finally had their chance of comparing their measurements with satellite imagery. This is not something that happens every day, because there is a lot of clouds in this part of the world, and the satellite instruments used in bio-optics can’t see through the clouds. They timed the optical cast to the exact moment a satellite would pass over our location, but as they were about to get the instrument in the water, the clouds came rolling, covered the sky and any possibility of getting satellite data. Being in the “ground truthing business” is not easy! This however, was not enough to ruin Victor’s mood. In fact as the clouds rolled by, one could witness a quite spectacular duet version of “Blueberry Hill”, performed by Victor & Rhys, a big moment in music history.
All work and no play… When you gut a lot of fish you produce a lot of waste in form of intestines and guts, just the sort of stuff sharks loves. So what do you do with the waste? You put it in a net, toss it over the side and try to attract some shark. Great fun, if the sharks decides to show up that is. But as we were hanging over the side, looking for sharks, a big group of Pilot Whales appeared. Between 40 and 60 individuals swam by, and for the first time on this cruise, some big males as well. A great end of the day!
With that I leave you to it, but stay tuned, there will be more tomorrow.