NOAA Teacher at Sea
Aboard NOAA Ship Delaware II
July 25 — August 5, 2011
Mission: Clam and Quahog Survey
Geographical Area: North Atlantic
Date: August 4, 2011
Weather Data from the Bridge
Location: 41 10.239 N; 67 36.023 W
Conditions: Foggy in the morning giving way to partly cloudy skies; warming up, water calm.
Science and Technology Log
Today at approximately 11 am we finished our last dredge of this leg of the clam survey. We just completed station #371. There are approximately 500 stations scheduled for the entire clam survey with the final 2-week leg still left to complete. We return to Woods Hole tomorrow morning and the Delaware II is expected to leave for the final leg on Monday morning, returning to Georges Bank to complete the final station dredges there.
The past two days we have encountered some mechanical problems which the very capable crew repaired, and the past 12 hours we have collected large quantities of quahogs and surfclams in our final ten dredges. We will spend the remainder of today cleaning up the deck, the wet lab, the dry lab, and putting away all the equipment we’ve been using. The trip home will take approximately 12 hours. We anticipate arriving in Woods Hole at 7 am in the morning.
It’s been an incredible trip for me — I’ve really come to appreciate what life at sea is like for the men and women who do this day in and day out all year long. We were fortunate to have excellent weather and relatively calm seas and I can’t imagine what it would have been like to do this type of work in cold, windy rain, rough seas, or even with ice covering the deck and its equipment. There are two teams or shifts: the day shift (noon to midnight) and the night shift (midnight to noon). Each shift has a Watch Chief who coordinates the work of the science crew, enters all the data of all the clams and other things we bring up, and communicates with the bridge and Chief Scientist.
Jonathan Duquette is the day shift Watch Chief and Nicole Charriere is the night shift Watch Chief, both of whom do an excellent job not only coordinating the work in the lab but also keeping the science crew (mostly us volunteers) informed of what we’re doing, where we’re going, and what we can do to help. They are extremely hard-working and it’s been a privilege to work alongside both of them.