What is going on?

5/29: What have we been missing from this cruise? Aside from whales, that is. Rain! We got it in spades today. Along with more wind, seas and fog. But it lifted a little in the afternoon and Lisa spotted a single right whale as we zigged and zagged south over the 50 fathom line on the eastern side of the GSC (Great South Channel). It was a juvenile that was doing some sub-surface feeding.
map

Map of the Gulf of Maine showing some of the areas surveyed by the Gordon Gunter.  Great South Channel is at the bottom of the map, between Nantucket Island and Nantucket Shoals and Georges Bank.

5/30: We spent the half-day that we had remaining running west across the GSC, stopping every 5 miles to conduct a CTD and VPR cast. We also did one vertical plankton tow, which came up with a fair amount of copepods. Mark Baumgartner has done these casts in the same spots on previous trips and is going to compare this year’s data with past cruise data. We had a few sei and fin whale sightings along with some white-sided and common dolphins. Pete had a Kogia sighting (!) after we had closed up shop and were transiting home. What IS going on out there?

Again, I am so grateful to have had another group of positive scientists who don’t let the weather or lack of whales get them too down.

Left to Right: Tim Cole, Pete Duley, Melanie Lyte, Chris Tremblay, Nadine Lysiak, Allison Henry, Barbara Beblowski, Mark Baumgartner, Whitney Sitzer, Lisa Conger, Kira Kasper, Steven Brady. Photo Credit: Marc Weekley, NOAA

Left to Right: Tim Cole, Pete Duley, Melanie Lyte, Chris Tremblay, Nadine Lysiak, Allison Henry, Barbara Beblowski, Mark Baumgartner, Whitney Sitzer, Lisa Conger, Kira Kasper, Steven Brady. Photo Credit: Marc Weekley, NOAA

Allison Henry
Chief Scientist
GG13-01 North Atlantic right whale survey and biology

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