Fairy shrimp, bingo games and a rowboat

This Tuesday finds the Henry Bigelow on its way to the Great South Channel to start coverage of the Georges Bank portion of this survey.  We have completed the Mid-Atlantic Bight and Southern New England areas completely, and hopefully will have enough time remaining to do justice to the northern portion of this survey.

The inshore Southern New England stations were marked by large numbers of very small copepods, and the samples (and nets) came aboard with a brownish tinge to them, indicating large numbers of diatoms in the water.  This fact was corroborated by Emily Peacock, from WHOI, who shared images from her imaging flowcytobot unit showing large numbers of diatoms in the scientific seawater flowthrough system.

emily and

Emily Peacock and the imaging flowcytobot. Photo by D J Kast, NOAA Teacher at Sea.

We have been getting fairly large numbers of young sand lance, Ammodytes, from several of the inshore stations Southern New England stations, ranging in length from 4 to as much as 10 centimeters.  There have also been many salps and ctenophores, and an occasional appearance of the amphipod, Phronima, that eats out the inside of barrel-shaped salps and then lives inside them.  Last night we also had a large catch of caprellid amphipods, sometimes commonly called “fairy shrimps”, much to the consternation of those of us whose turn it was to wash those samples out of the nets, as they tenaciously clung on to the meshes!


Images of diatoms from the flowcytobot. Photo by Emily Peacock, WHOI.

amphipod inside salp

An amphipod, Phronima, that eats out the inside of a barrel-shaped salp and then lives inside it. Photo by DJ Kast, NOAA Teacher at Sea.

fairy shrimps

Caprellid amphipods, commonly called “fairy shrimps”, were not easy to wash out of the nets. Photo by D J Kast, NOAA Teacher at Sea.

Our uneventful Memorial Day Weekend was punctuated by two events that made things interesting.  One was a festive ice cream social and bingo game on Sunday night put on by our stewards Dennis and Jeremy.  While in the midst of enjoying this we received a call from the bridge saying that they had spotted a rowboat anchored outside the entrance to New York harbor in the area we were transiting through!

bingo game

Sunday night ice cream social and bingo game. Photo by Jerry Prezioso, NEFSC/NOAA.

Our commanding officer actually knew one of the two men onboard the twenty-three foot plywood craft that was on its way to Gallipoli, Turkey the next day once the winds subsided.  This venture was part of a “Rowing For Peace” movement, details of which can be found on a website:http://www.rowforpeace.com/

rowers and their boat

We sent a “care package” to this two-person boat, headed to Turkey. Photo by D J Kast, NOAA Teacher at Sea.

In keeping with the NOAA tradition of service to the public, a small care package was hastily arranged, with water bottles, ice cream, ship’s hats and a pineapple!  A line was thrown to the tiny vessel, and the items were passed across secured in a plastic bag.

Now we are on our way to Georges Bank, having completed the southern portion of our trip. Hopefully the nice weather will continue for a few more days while we are on Georges. There’s not too much shelter out there!

Jerry Prezioso
Chief Scientist
HB1502 Ecosystem Monitoring Survey

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