Jeff Grevert, June 10, 2005

NOAA Teacher at Sea
Jeff Grevert
Onboard NOAA Ship Delaware II
June 8 – 16, 2005

Mission: Surf Clam Survey
Geographical Area: New England
Date: June 10, 2005

Sampling surf clams
Sampling surf clams

Weather Data
Latitude: 37° 51′ N
Longitude: 74° 25′ W
Visibility: 7 nm
Wind Direction: 182°
Wind Speed: 13 kts
Sea Wave Height: 2′
Swell Wave Height: N/A
Sea Water Temperature: 16.1° C
Cloud Cover: N/A, Clear

0000 – Went on watch.  Shortly after my watch started, we experienced generator issues.  The overhead lights in the science lab went out momentarily and we were on an emergency generator to keep the computers on.  Both generators are required to work the wench that controls the dredge, so operations ceased for approximately the next four hours. At around 0400 the ship’s engineers fixed the problem, and trawling continued.  The few trawls we were able to conduct yielded fewer shellfish than in previous days. The watch chief explained that it probably had to do with the location of those specific stations we were sampling in the vicinity of Delaware Bay. Bycatch included a stargazer fish (Astroscopus sp.) and a horseshoe crab (Limulus polyphemus).

Sorting baskets
Sorting baskets

0600 – Finished the assigned duties of my watch, ate breakfast, and went to sleep.

1200 – Went on watch.  We conducted one trawl with a small yield.  The catch included ocean quahogs (Arctica islandica) and several specimens of Chestnut Astarte (Astarte castanea). I must say that working with someone educated outside of the U.S. helps you to appreciate the value of binomial nomenclature.  Common names for the same organism are different all around, but the scientific name remains the same.

Soon after our first trawl, we experienced technical difficulties with the power pack that controls the wench which drives the sampling dredge weighing in at approx. 7,000 lbs (empty).  The ship’s engineers were unable to fix it with the present resources.  At this point, it was decided to turn around and head back to Woods Hole to obtain the parts necessary for repairs. We are currently on a 25hour trip back north from Delaware Bay to Woods Hole. After the power pack is repaired we will set out to continue sampling most likely in the vicinity of southern New England.

Since no sampling can take place, we are not standing watches at this time.  Most of the scientists are using this time for R&R by sleeping, listening to music, watching satellite TV, and viewing one of over 500 films on 8mm provided by the U.S. Navy Motion Picture Service.  Some of the films are still in theatres!  R&R is always nice, but I am eager to get back to work.

Making repairs
Making repairs


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