NOAA Teacher at Sea
Ruth S. Meadows
Onboard NOAA Ship Henry B. Bigelow
June 12 – July 18, 2009
Mission: Census of Marine Life (MAR-Eco)
Geographical Area: Mid- Atlantic Ridge; Charlie- Gibbs Fracture Zone
Date: July 7, 2009
Weather Data from the Bridge
Temperature: 8o C
Wind: 9.75 kts
Science and Technology Log
Usually by the time the catch was on board, the sea urchins were deflated and very flat. These are commonly known as collapsible or flat urchins. When it is taken out of the water, it collapses into a flat shape. There is a red shrimp on the right side. We caught many different sizes of the Bathysaurus during the benthic trawls. It has a very bony head, large mouth and lots of sharp teeth. It normally rests stationary on the bottom of the ocean floor with its head slightly elevated. It feeds primarily on fishes and decapods (type of crustacean).
We are finished with our trawls and are heading back to Newport, Rhode Island. The trip back will take about 7 days. During this time, the information that was entered into the computers will be analyzed and checked for any errors. In addition, the organisms that are preserved will be sorted and packaged for delivery to various locations. Many of the samples will be going to the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) and later distributed to various scientists to use in their research. Dr. Tracey Sutton will even send some specimens to me in Opelika for my students to observe.
Occasionally, when the weather and work schedule allows, the deck chairs come out and we relax and visit with one another outside. The crew calls this “The Stinky Sailor”. There will be soft drinks, slushy type drinks, sometimes candy and if we are lucky Andrew entertains us with his music. This part of the ship is called the O2 deck, two floors up from the main deck. The Stinky Sailor is set behind the superstructure of the ship so it is protected from the wind. When we were sailing east, the afternoon sun would warm the area making it a very pleasant place to visit and relax.