Bats, bongos, and buoys

Friday, November 18:

Today is our last full day of work on the Fall Ecosystem Monitoring Survey.  Since my last update the Delaware II has almost completed a circuit of stations ranging from as far north and east as the Grand Manan Banks, down into the central Gulf of Maine, and along the coastal waters of Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts.  Then we headed east again, across Wilkinson Basin, and right now are heading for two final stations located just east of Cape Cod, before we return to Woods Hole via Great Round Shoal Channel, for a Saturday morning docking at 7 AM.

Bongo net brought aboard ship

Brendan Floyd and Adrian Martyn-Fisher bring a bongo net aboard as Adrian uses the newly-installed rail-mounted winch controls. (Photo by Jerry Prezioso, NEFSC/NOAA)

We located herring larvae in the western Gulf of Maine coastal stations,off the coast of Maine, just 12 miles offshore from Saco Bay, and right outside of Boston Harbor, at our Liquefied Natural Gas terminal monitoring site.

Microcsope work at sea

Chris Taylor braces himself to look through a microscope for Calanus copepods aboard the Delaware II. (Photo by Jerry Prezioso, NEFSC/NOAA)

Jim Manning, the designer of our surface drifter buoys,  sent us a website for tracking the three surface drifters that we launched last Sunday on the southwest flank of Georges Bank.  We’ve been watching the website and found that since then, the buoys haven’t traveled very far.  They are essentially moving in small circles, and are still fairly close together.  You can see them on the website:

http://www.nefsc.noaa.gov/drifter/drift_nefsc_2011_1.html

We had a “catch” of another kind, when one of the crew members, Rick
Rozen, and a bird observer, Chris Vogel, rescued a brown bat that had
collided with the superstructure of the ship and had fallen to the deck. The bat appears to be uninjured and is recuperating in a plastic bucket covered with a milk crate until we can return it to shore.

brown bat

A brown bat rescued from the ship's deck recuperates aboard the vessel. (Photo by Fionna Matheson, NOAA)

The work accomplished on this survey would not be possible without the cooperation and contributions of all the people on board: the NOAA Corps officers, the crew and the scientists. The officers were constantly tweaking our cruise track to make it as efficient as possible, shaving off miles from the route to provide better coverage in less time.

working on incubators

Cory Staryk fetching some primary productivity sample bottles from his deck-mounted incubators while the Delaware II rolls in a heavy swell. (Photo by Jerry Prezioso, NEFSC/NOAA)

The crew deployed our gear safely in all kinds of sea conditions. They even rigged up winch controls from our new winch at the starboard rail to allow one person to operate the A-frame and winch simultaneously for smoother deployments in rough seas, or for when they were short-handed. The scientists worked diligently on collecting and preserving samples, and logging all the data from the 115 stations that we’ve visited so far. They did this even under uncomfortable sea conditions, which on this trip was most of the time!  Working together the personnel aboard the Delaware II  have acquired more data to help us answer the many questions we are faced with today about our changing environment.

Jerry Prezioso
Chief Scientist
DE 11-09 Ecosystem Monitoring Survey

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