June 4, 2019
The oft quoted line “May the force be with you” should be paraphrased as “May the weather be with you” for our now almost completed spring Ecosystems Monitoring Survey! We have been blessed by calm seas and light winds for almost every day of this trip, and as a result have now completed sampling coverage on all of Georges Bank and nearly every station in the expansive Gulf of Maine area as well.
As mentioned in previous updates, the Ecosystem Monitoring Surveys attempt to serve as a vehicle for collecting data on many different fronts, from plankton to hydrography to seabirds and marine mammals, ocean water chemistry and optical properties, educational outreach and testing the efficacy of collecting gear.
This cruise, aided by good weather and a unique combination of scientific staff and equipment, has succeeded on all these fronts, and will return home with loads of data and samples collected during our sixteen days at sea.
However, behind the scenes there is another component to the scientific achievements of this cruise: the often unheralded support provided by the vessel and its crew. Working together, the NOAA officers, engineers, deck crew, survey and electronics specialists all collaborate to make the Henry B. Bigelow the best platform possible for achieving its scientific mission. Without them the scientists couldn’t accomplish their around the clock, 24/7 routine of data collection in the relative comfort of what can often be a very inhospitable environment; the open ocean.
Even spending Memorial Day weekend aboard on this cruise away from family and friends was made less of a burden by the efforts of the stewards to create a sense of community with their chili nacho nights, ice cream socials on Sundays and smoked beef brisket and pulled pork dinners made with their own on-board smoker!
Together with the rest of the scientific staff I’d like to thank everyone aboard the Henry B. Bigelow for enabling us to come home not just with a lot of data and samples, but also some fond memories and experiences from our time at sea. Thank you all very much!
HB1902 Spring Ecosystem Monitoring Survey