Hello from the acoustics team!! We first put our array in on July 4th as soon as the ship got offshore and into deep enough water for us. We are using a new setup this year – an entirely new hydrophone array and Acoustic Recording System (aka the Super-ARS) that Rob, Samara, and I built. I’m happy to report that things are working pretty well – we’ve had a few glitches to deal with here and there, but no major setbacks. So far we’ve recorded a bunch of sperm whales, and a good scattering of dolphins, including getting some good whistles from an encounter with a Clymene dolphin. We are primarily recording from our towed array, but we are also set up to record from the ship’s centerboard hydrophone, which we used today to get recordings during a brief encounter with bow-riding Stenella frontalis.
Gumby has also returned as the mascot of the acoustic team this year, ready for more at-sea adventures. But he is already getting into trouble when left to his own devices. . . today we found him going after our sperm whale mobile with a harpoon!