John Sammons, August 4, 2005

NOAA Teacher at Sea
John Sammons
Onboard NOAA Ship Albatross IV
July 25 – August 4, 2005

Mission: Ecosystem Survey
Geographic Region: Northeast U.S.
Date: August 4, 2005

Screen shot 2014-02-02 at 10.26.11 PMWeather Data from the bridge

Latitude: 42° 5’ N
Longitude: 67° 28’ W
Visibility: undetermined
Wind direction: E ( 107 degrees)
Wind speed:  12 knots
Sea wave height: 3’
Swell wave height: 0’
Sea water temperature: 14°C
Sea level pressure:  1022.2 millibars
Cloud cover: 30% Partly cloudy,cumulus

Question of the Day: Last day at sea

Yesterday’s Answer: Scallops are categorized as invertebrates. Scallops belong to the animal kingdom.

Science and Technology Log

On Thursday, we got word that our ship would be back in port by early Friday morning between 4 and 7 a.m. Once we complete the last 20 or so stations, it will be time to clean up and prepare the ship for docking. A large spider crab was brought in at station 454.

The chart below shows a selected number of species and the total and average catch weights from July 25–August 3.

LOGGED_SPECIES_NAME

TOTAL # CAUGHT

TOTAL MASS (grams)

AVERAGE MASS (grams)

OBJECTS WITH SIMILAR MASS

HAGFISH ATLANTIC

41

3230

79

SPINY DOGFISH

1

1560

1560

BARNDOOR SKATE

31

35342

1140

WINTER SKATE

183

196116

1072

LITTLE SKATE

1,628

638483

392

SMOOTH SKATE

19

9517

501

THORNY SKATE

32

7739

242

ATLANTIC HERRING

3

402

134

SILVER HAKE

1,018

117103

115

COD

32

11498

359

HADDOCK

348

64742

186

WHITE HAKE

9

8180

909

RED HAKE

2,941

407185

138

SPOTTED HAKE

2

310

155

FOURBEARD ROCKLING

23

296

13

AMERICAN PLAICE

102

30261

297

FLUKE

18

28240

1569

FOURSPOT FLOUNDER

798

126633

159

YT FLOUNDER

463

111390

241

WINTER FLOUNDER

61

48560

796

WITCH FLOUNDER

47

18300

389

WINDOWPANE FLOUNDER

126

27576

219

GULF STREAM FLOUNDER

344

9189

27

BLACKBELLY ROSEFISH

1

8

8

SCULPIN UNCL

6

18

3

MOUSTACHE SCULPIN

31

33

1

LH SCULPIN

571

88391

155

SEA RAVEN

29

21468

740

ALLIGATORFISH

4

2

1

NORTHERN SEAROBIN

1

47

47

CUNNER

2

493

247

ROCK GUNNEL

18

75

4

NORTHERN SAND LANCE

26

37

1

OCEAN POUT

290

71883

248

FAWN CUSKEEL

11

382

35

GOOSEFISH

389

1046990

?

AMERICAN LOBSTER

22

34552

1571

CANCER CRAB UNCL UNSEXED

1,138

123203

108

STARFISH UNCL

78,925

161850

2

ASTERIAS BOREAL

36,851

243218

7

ASTROPECTEN SP

2,833

15623

6

ICELAND SCALLOP LIVE

18

447

25

SCALLOP ICELAND CLAPPER

3

56

19

CONGER EEL UNCL

1

200

200

SEA SCALLOP CLAPPER

1,980

227126

115

SEA SCALLOP LIVE

114,868

20960122

?

SNAKE EEL UNCL

5

59

12

ILLEX SQUID

12

1442

120

LOLIGO SQUID

3

186

62

SPOONARM OCTOPUS

8

201

25

SCORPIONFISH AND ROCKFISH

1

4

4

1) Use a calculator to find the average masses of the goosefish and sea scallops. You can find these averages by dividing the total mass by the total number caught.
2) Which species had the most average mass?
3) Which species had the least average mass?
4) Which two or three species have about the same mass?
5) Complete the last column in the table by finding everyday objects that have similar masses. Choose at least ten.
6) Select the top ten heaviest species and create a bar graph comparing their masses.

Personal Log

A Fond Farewell 

The time has come to say goodbye to all our friends for now,
The night watch worked from 12 til six, it’s time to take a bow.
Larry crunched the numbers and helped it make more sense,
Vic was the head scientist who made things seem less tense.
KB shared her knowledge in a very caring way,
While Lara measured up the scallops quickly every day.
Erin took the sign and camera to the pile to pose,
It was Kris who was in charge and kept us on our toes.
Nikolai had a funny way of helping us all learn,
And with that said I, John, must conclude, it’s over, let’s adjourn!

Ode to the ALBATROSS IV 

By John Sammons

Arrived on early Sunday eve to find the ship was docked,
Passing through the metal gate that I only thought was locked.
Resting from her recent trip, she makes a humming sound,
Waiting for her crew to board and get a look around.
The sun reflects and sparkles in the ever choppy sea,
I wonder what this exciting adventure will bring to me.

The waves come toward the ALBATROSS and into the lengthy side,
Feel the rocking back and forth, so hold on for the bumpy ride.
Prepare the dredge and send it forth to bring up another load,
Bring out the baskets and buckets and pads to get in a sorting mode.
Place the containers on the scale then measure the scallop’s shell,
Soon the shift will come to an end with only stories left to tell.

Steaming forward to the station that is just right up ahead,
Six hours is up, and our shift will end, so it’s time to go to bed.
Before I rest and take a nap, some chow I would like to eat,
It will be good to rest a little while and get off from my feet.
The food is great, so many choices that we are able to choose,
Just fill ‘er up and head to bed and settle for a snooze.

Time to muster and be alert for another shift begins,
Shells and starfish wait for us, along with things with fins.
Pull up a bucket and a pad to sample and to sort,
It’s been three days since ALBATROSS steamed from the distant port.
Ouch! I bellowed as a scallop clamped onto my finger,
Upon the deck you sort and scoop, but dare not stand and linger.

Let me stop and ponder now about the time I’ve spent,
It seems like days and nights have passed, they’ve come, they’ve gone, they went!
Zigging left and zigging right, we have sailed right out to sea,
It seems so wide and open, such an awesome sight for me.
There’s so much to learn from everyone who works upon this ship,
It’s hard to think that soon we’ll be halfway through our trip.

Stand in awe as the sun begins to finally set,
Awash in orange and red and yellow, it is hard to forget.
What a lasting beauty as the sky begins to glow,
Its splendor in the many colors that it will show.
Waiting for its lasting blaze of light to end the day,
Now I lay me down to sleep, I ask of Him, I pray

The heavy dredge is ready for another timely tow,
Expect to catch the scallops, to the surface they will go.
Dropping to the bottom where its 80 meters deep,
Spending fifteen minutes dragging and bringing in the keep.
Then they’re sorted on the surface while hiding in their shell,
The aging/growth ridges on their outside’s what they tell.

Working two shifts makes it hard to fully stay awake,
But ignoring the wakeup call could be a big mistake.
So much to choose from when it’s finally time for us to eat,
Better be there when it is your time to get a decent seat.
Take a minute or two to rest while the ship is on a steam,
When it’s time to go to bed, enjoy that time to dream.

Ten minutes to go before it’s time for another CTD,
When the crew will set and drop it down into the sea.
It only takes a moment for the thing to take a dash,
To the bottom it will go, watch that it doesn’t crash.
Then it’s time to drop the dredge and ready for the tow,
Soon you’ll hear them haul it in, and it’ll be time to go.

With just a few days left before we enter the home port,
We still continue to collect and sample and we sort.
The number of each species catch continues to go up,
We even brought a dogfish in that was only just a “pup”.
What more can we expect to find within the capture net,
From this station to the next one, we’ll take what we can get.

The time has come to say goodbye to all our friends for now,
The night watch worked from 12 til six, it’s time to take a bow.
Larry crunched the numbers and helped it make more sense,
Vic was the head scientist who made things seem less tense.
KB shared her knowledge in a very caring way,
While Lara measured up the scallops quickly every day.
Erin took the sign and camera to the pile to pose,
It was Kris who was in charge and kept us on our toes.
Nikolai had a funny way of helping us all learn,
And with that said I, John, must conclude, it’s over, let’s adjourn!

John Sammons, August 3, 2005

NOAA Teacher at Sea
John Sammons
Onboard NOAA Ship Albatross IV
July 25 – August 4, 2005

Mission: Ecosystem Survey
Geographic Region: Northeast U.S.
Date: August 3, 2005

Weather Data from the Bridge

Latitude: 42° 5’ N
Longitude: 67° 28’ W
Visibility: undetermined
Wind direction: E ( 107 degrees)
Wind speed:  12 knots
Sea wave height: 3’
Swell wave height: 0’
Sea water temperature: 14°C
Sea level pressure:  1022.2 millibars
Cloud cover: 30% Partly cloudy,cumulus

Questions of the Day: In what group is the scallop categorized – vertebrates or invertebrates? What kingdom does the scallop belong – monerans, protests, fungi, plants, or animals?

(You may need to use a dictionary to look up these words before deciding the correct answer.)

Screen shot 2014-02-02 at 10.25.09 PM

Yesterday’s Answer: If the sea scallop population were to change drastically, then the population of starfish and crabs might change, too. Other organisms that are in the same community as the scallop are little skate, red hake, yellow tail flounder, and goosefish.

Science and Technology Log:

On Wednesday, the ALBATROSS IV began surveying the western edge of Georges Bank. Typically dense fog, cool temperatures, low visibility dominate the scene. We are currently about 55 miles offshore as we continue to meander between stations and conduct a sampling of the various strata. This morning we caught a dogfish shark in the dredge and took a photo opportunity. It is exciting when a new species (one we have not seen yet on this survey) appears in the dredge. The biggest excitement came when hagfish started to appear in the dredge. These snake-like fish tried to squirm their way off the deck. Several adjustments were made in the trackline (or stations we will visit) to account for time and problems with the tow.

The chart below shows a selected number of species and the total catch weights from July 25 – August 2.

Species Names

Catch Weight (grams)

HAGFISH ATLANTIC

3,230

SPINY DOGFISH

1,560

BARNDOOR SKATE

33,462

WINTER SKATE

152,976

LITTLE SKATE

608,663

SMOOTH SKATE

5,303

THORNY SKATE

6,199

ATLANTIC HERRING

402

SILVER HAKE

116,339

COD

11,498

HADDOCK

59,354

WHITE HAKE

7,140

RED HAKE

399,512

SPOTTED HAKE

310

FOURBEARD ROCKLING

191

AMERICAN PLAICE

30,250

FLUKE

27,660

FOURSPOT FLOUNDER

124,973

YT FLOUNDER

108,054

WINTER FLOUNDER

46,980

WITCH FLOUNDER

15,660

WINDOWPANE FLOUNDER

27,576

GULF STREAM FLOUNDER

9,189

BLACKBELLY ROSEFISH

8

SCULPIN UNCL

18

MOUSTACHE SCULPIN

33

LH SCULPIN

80,691

SEA RAVEN

21,468

ALLIGATORFISH

2

NORTHERN SEAROBIN

47

CUNNER

493

ROCK GUNNEL

75

NORTHERN SAND LANCE

40

OCEAN POUT

68

FAWN CUSKEEL

382

GOOSEFISH

933,330

AMERICAN LOBSTER MALE

34,550

CANCER CRAB UNCL UNSEXED

122,684

STARFISH UNCL

161,477

ASTERIAS BOREAL

242,902

ASTROPECTEN SP

15,623

ICELAND SCALLOP LIVE

450

SCALLOP ICELAND CLAPPER

56

CONGER EEL UNCL

200

SEA SCALLOP CLAPPER

222,600

SEA SCALLOP LIVE

19,863,690

SNAKE EEL UNCL

59

ILLEX SQUID

1,313

OCTOPUS SPOONARM

109

SPOONARM OCTOPUS

200

SCORPIONFISH AND ROCKFISH UNCL

4

UNKNOWN 01

19

1) Order the 10 highest amounts from greatest to least.
2) Order the 10 lowest amounts from least to greatest.
3) Which species has a total with a 9 in the millions place?
4) Which species has a total with a 6 in the ten thousands place?
5) Which species has a total with a 9 in the hundred thousands place?
6) Choose a species to research. Why do you think their numbers are higher or lower than the others are?

Personal Log

A Few Days Left 

With just a few days left before we enter the home port,
We still continue to collect and sample and we sort.
The number of each species catch continues to go up,
We even brought a dogfish in that was only just a “pup”.
What more can we expect to find within the capture net,
From this station to the next one, we’ll take what we can get.

John Sammons, August 2, 2005

NOAA Teacher at Sea
John Sammons
Onboard NOAA Ship Albatross IV
July 25 – August 4, 2005

Mission: Ecosystem Survey
Geographic Region: Northeast U.S.
Date: August 2, 2005

Weather Data from the bridge

Latitude: 42° 5’ N
Longitude: 67° 28’ W
Visibility: undetermined
Wind direction: E ( 107 degrees)
Wind speed:  12 knots
Sea wave height: 3’
Swell wave height: 0’
Sea water temperature: 14°C
Sea level pressure:  1022.2 millibars
Cloud cover: 30% Partly cloudy,cumulus

Questions of the Day: Explain what might happen if the sea scallop population were to change drastically. What other organisms are in the same community as the scallop?

(You may want to look at the Day 8 food web and the graph below.)

Yesterday’s Answer:

Scallops are predators because they eat something else, that is phytoplankton and zooplankton. They are primarily herbivores. Scallops are mostly prey to, or eaten by, sea stars and crabs.

Science and Technology Log

Screen shot 2014-02-02 at 10.24.04 PM*CTD = Conductivity, Temperature, Depth instrument is used to measure salinity, temperature, and depth at selected stations. This is important because different species of marine animals (including the sea scallop) have tolerances for certain temperatures and depths.

On Tuesday, the ALBATROSS IV continued surveying the northern edge of Georges Bank as it makes its way west toward Woods Hole. The weather has been very cooperative with a ridge of high pressure overhead, despite the routine early dense fog. Scallop counts are very low while other newer species are being observed, including various species of sea stars and the hagfish. The chart below shows a selected number of species and the stations in which they were found.

Sea Scallop Survey Leg II: Stations Where Species Were Found

Screen shot 2014-02-02 at 10.24.16 PM

Questions:

1) Which of these species was caught at the most stations?

2) Which of these species was caught at the least number of stations?

3) At how many more stations were the sea scallops caught than the red hake?

4) What might explain why sea scallops were found at the most number of stations on this survey?

5) What is the difference between the number of stations that the yellow tail flounder were located and the sea scallop?

Personal Log

Measuring Up 

Ten minutes to go before it’s time for another CTD,
When the crew will set and drop it down into the waiting sea.
It only takes a moment for the thing to take a dash,
To the bottom it will go, but watch that it don’t crash.
Then it’s time to drop the dredge and ready for the tow,
Soon you’ll hear them haul it in, and it’ll be time to go.

 

John Sammons, August 1, 2005

NOAA Teacher at Sea
John Sammons
Onboard NOAA Ship Albatross IV
July 25 – August 4, 2005

Mission: Ecosystem Survey
Geographic Region: Northeast U.S.
Date: August 1, 2005

Weather Data from the bridge

Latitude: 42° 5’ N
Longitude: 67° 28’ W
Visibility: undetermined
Wind direction: E ( 107 degrees)
Wind speed:  12 knots
Sea wave height: 3’
Swell wave height: 0’
Sea water temperature: 14°C
Sea level pressure:  1022.2 millibars
Cloud cover: 30% Partly cloudy,cumulus

Questions of the Day: What makes a scallop a predator? Is a scallop a carnivore, herbivore, or omnivore?  What is the scallop prey to?

Screen shot 2014-02-02 at 10.23.14 PM

Yesterday’s Answer:

Scallop Answers

Science and Technology Log

Facts About Sea Scallops* 

  • Largest wild scallop fishery in the world
  • Most valuable fishery in Northeast US
  • 2004 landings were about 28,000 meats (63 million lbs) worth over $300 million
  • Most landings come from about 300 vessels with “limited access” permits
  • Principal ports are New Bedford MA, Cape May NJ, Hampton Roads VA
  • Typical vessel is 70-90’ and uses two 15’ dredges
  • Most fishing occurs in the Mid-Atlantic area (Virginia to Long Island) and on Georges Bank
  • Sea scallops have an upper temperature tolerance of about 21 C.
  • Most important scallop predators are: sea stars, crabs and other decapods
  • Because they are filter-feeders, their main source of food is phytoplankton in the floor to surface water column.

*Thanks to Dvora Hart, Northeast Fisheries Science Center, for supplying the scallop information. 

On Monday, the ALBATROSS IV began surveying more open areas. Sunday’s 6 – midnight watch experienced very large catches as they sampled the closed areas from the Canada line westward. I got an opportunity to operate on a Goosefish in order to take a vertebrate sample. This will be used to determine the age of the fish. The catches are significantly small since we entered an open area for fishing.  With beautiful weather ahead of us, we should be able to continue to enjoy the sorting time as well as time on deck to relax. The weekly fire and abandon ship drills were held today.

Personal Log

Life at Sea 

Working two shifts makes it hard to fully stay awake,
But ignoring the wakeup call could be a big mistake.
So much to choose from when it’s finally time to eat,
Better be there when it is your time to get a decent seat.
Take a minute or two to rest while the ship is on a steam,
When it’s time to go to bed, enjoy that time to dream.

John Sammons, July 31, 2005

NOAA Teacher at Sea
John Sammons
Onboard NOAA Ship Albatross IV
July 25 – August 4, 2005

Mission: Ecosystem Survey
Geographic Region: Northeast U.S.
Date: July 31, 2005

Weather Data from the Bridge

Latitude: 41° 26’ N
Longitude: 66° 34’ W
Visibility: <1 mile
Wind direction: NW (306 degrees)
Wind speed: 7 knots
Sea wave height: 1’
Swell wave height: 1’
Sea water temperature: 15°C
Sea level pressure: 1023.3 millibars
Cloud cover: 90% fog, haze, dust

Screen shot 2014-03-01 at 8.35.50 AM

Question of the Day: Predict the mass and size of each scallop pictured above. Match them with the masses and lengths shown below.

Scallops Masses and Lengths

Yesterday’s Answer: Answers may be different.

  1. flat body allows it to lay camouflaged on the bottom
  2. tail fin allows it to move through the water
  3. spiny back and tail protect it from predators
  4. long, slender body allows it to move faster through the water
  5. strong muscle allows it to close the shell to keep out predators
  6. strong arms allow it to pry open shells for food

Science and Technology Log

“Scallops are a family of bivalve mollusks; there are several hundred species of scallops, found in marine environments all over the world.  Like most other bivalves, they consume phytoplankton and other small particles by filter-feeding. Unlike many bivalves (e.g., clams, which bury in the sediments), they live on the bottom surface, and can move by swimming. Atlantic sea scallops (Placopecten magellanicus, also known giant scallops or deep sea scallops) live only in the northwest Atlantic from Cape Hatteras to Newfoundland and the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Sea scallops usually spawn in late summer or early fall, though spring spawning may also occur. After hatching, larvae stay in the water column for 4-6 weeks. At settlement, they attach to a hard object by means of byssal threads produced by a gland at the end of their foot.”

*Thanks to Dvora Hart, Northeast Fisheries Science Center, for supplying the scallop information. 

On Sunday, I was able to operate the Conductivity, Temperature, and Depth instrument by myself. This instrument is lowered into the water at every third designated stations. Data is collected as the instrument descends to the bottom. This data includes salinity (saltiness), temperature, and depth of the water. This is important since various marine animals require ideal temperatures to survive. Today’s CTD went down to 80 meters (think 80 meter sticks deep) and recorded a temperature of about 5 °C. That ‘s cold!

Personal Log

Scallop Catch 

The heavy dredge is ready for another timely tow,
Expect to catch the scallops, to the surface they will go.
Dropping to the bottom where its 80 meters deep,
Spending fifteen minutes dragging and bringing in the keep.
Then they’re sorted on the surface while hiding in their shell,
The aging/growth ridges on their outside’s what they tell.

 

John Sammons, July 30, 2005

NOAA Teacher at Sea
John Sammons
Onboard NOAA Ship Albatross IV
July 25 – August 4, 2005

Mission: Ecosystem Survey
Geographic Region: Northeast U.S.
Date: July 30, 2005

Weather Data from the Bridge

Latitude: 41° 26’ N
Longitude: 66° 34’ W
Visibility: <1 mile
Wind direction: NW (306 degrees)
Wind speed: 7 knots
Sea wave height: 1’
Swell wave height: 1’
Sea water temperature: 15°C
Sea level pressure: 1023.3 millibars
Cloud cover: 90% fog, haze, dust

Question of the Day: What physical adaptations help the animals pictured in numbers 1 – 6 above survive in their environment? Give at least three.

 

Screen shot 2014-03-01 at 8.32.02 AM
Photos 7, 8, 9: Evening Sunset

 

Yesterday’s Answer: The cloud types shown in yesterday’s pictures are: 1) cirrus and stratus 2) stratus (fog) 3) cirrus 4) cirrus 5) cumulus 6) cirrus and stratus 7) stratus (fog)  8) stratus 9) cumulus (alto-or cirro-cumulus) There were no cumulonimbus (thunderstorm) clouds (which is a good thing). The crew on the Albatross IV was experiencing FAIR weather.

Science and Technology Log

Animal adaptations fall into two general categories – behavioral and physical. The physical adaptations are the structures on the animal that help in survive, while the behavioral adaptations are the actions the animal takes in order to survive. The structures may include fins, body shape, beaks, mouth parts, legs, gills, etc. that are important to the animal’s ability to endure within the habitat. For example, scallops have a hard shell that helps them survive by keeping out predators. The actions that animals may take in order to survive include playing dead, showing teeth, and licking your face. For example, scallops squirt water in order to push themselves away from their predators.

On Saturday we moved into Canadian waters and are now operating in an open area. We essentially have the same tasks to perform at each station, including taking a picture of the catch before it is sorted, weighing and measuring selected species, tagging and bagging requested species, cleaning the workstations after each station, and operating the CTD. More information about the Conductivity, Temperature, and Depth instrument will be shared in tomorrow’s log. Several whales, dolphins, sharks, and porpoises have been spotted. They are difficult to photograph because I never have a camera ready, and they are breaking the surface at unpredictable time.

The table below shows the amount of some of the marine species collected since our survey began.

Sammons Day 6 Table

  1. Can you tell which species was the most populated in the areas surveyed?
  2. Which species was the least populated?
  3. Are there any that have the same or close to the same amount?
  4. What’s the difference between the number of the most and least populated totals?

Personal Log

Ocean Sunset 

Stand in awe as the sun begins to finally set,
Awash in orange and red and yellow, it is hard to forget.
What a lasting beauty as the sky begins to glow,
Its splendor in the many colors that it will show.
Waiting for its lasting blaze of light to end the day,
Now I lay me down to sleep. . ., I ask of Him, I pray.

John Sammons, July 29, 2005

NOAA Teacher at Sea
John Sammons
Onboard NOAA Ship Albatross IV
July 25 – August 4, 2005

Mission: Ecosystem Survey
Geographic Region: Northeast U.S.
Date: July 29, 2005

Weather Data from the bridge

Latitude: 41° 02’ N
Longitude: 69° 15’ W
Visibility: 0
Wind direction: NNW (230)
Wind speed: 15 knots
Sea wave height: unknown
Swell wave height: unknown
Sea water temperature: 11.4° C
Sea level pressure: 1012 millibars
Cloud cover: Dense Fog

Question of the Day:

What cloud types are shown in below in the photographs (cirrus, cumulus, stratus, cumulonimbus)? What kind of weather would the crew on the ALBATROSS IV be experiencing (fair, rainy, stormy)?

Screen shot 2014-02-10 at 9.55.10 PM

Yesterday’s Answer: The ALBATROSS IV is currently located northeast of Virginia.

Science and Technology Log

Weather has a big influence on the decisions made at sea. Using instruments like the ones described in the Day 1 Log, the crew can determine whether conditions are safe and whether to change course. However, decisions about where to go can be affected by the types of clouds that are observed. One cloud formation that influences these choices is the stratus cloud on the ground, more easily known as fog. If it were not for the RADAR and other navigation instruments, dense fog could put an end to the trip. Other cloud types like cirrus clouds could indicate the edge of an approaching storm. With such warning, the ship could navigate around cumulonimbus, or storm, clouds or ride it out. An observant person on watch can make life-saving decisions using weather and cloud types.

The Friday morning watch (midnight – six) consisted of relatively uniform samples, because the tow moved through a restricted closed area of Georges Bank. It seems like this practice is working, since the scallop counts in the restricted and nonrestricted areas vary greatly.

Sampling of Sea Scallops on Georges Bank

The seas have settled a bit and are lower than two feet by the noon – six watch. The sky is almost clear with only a few distance clouds on the horizon. The water is a beautiful marine blue color, unlike the murky brown water near the coast.

Personal Log

Zig-Zagging 

Let me stop and ponder now about the time I’ve spent,
It seems like days and nights have passed, they’ve come, they’ve gone, they went!
Zigging left and zagging right, we have sailed right out to sea,
It seems so wide and open, such an awesome sight for me.
There’s so much to learn from everyone who works upon this ship,
It’s hard to think that soon we’ll be halfway through our trip.

 

John Sammons, July 28, 2005

NOAA Teacher at Sea
John Sammons
Onboard NOAA Ship Albatross IV
July 25 – August 4, 2005

Mission: Ecosystem Survey
Geographic Region: Northeast U.S.
Date: July 28, 2005

Weather Data from the Bridge

Latitude: 40° 58’ N
Longitude: 67° 13’ W
Visibility: undetermined
Wind direction: SSW (217 degrees)
Wind speed:  11 knots
Sea wave height: 0.4’
Swell wave height: 1.4’
Sea water temperature: 18°C
Sea level pressure: 1013.3 millibars
Cloud cover: Obscure, Fog, Haze, Dust

Question of the Day: In which direction is the ALBATROSS IV relative to Virginia (north, south, east, west, northeast, northwest, southeast, southwest)?  Use the latitude and longitude points in today’s log or refer to the “Location” link shown on the webpage.

Yesterday’s Answer: Some scallops use camouflage and countershading to help protect themselves from their predators by blending into the ocean bottom (light to dark brown as seen from above) and blending into the sky (white as seen from below). Because there are two different colors, this is called countershading, which is a form of camouflage and is a physical adaptation.

Science and Technology Log

Proper navigation is an important component of the ALBATROSS IV’s ability to correctly manage the station locations. Without it, the ship would be lost, and there would be no way to accurately measure station samples over time. First, an electronic course map is generated that has the predetermined route and survey station. Course adjustments are made as the ship approaches a station so that it passes within one mile of the station and over it on its way to the next station. Since the dredge stays in the water for fifteen minutes, it requires accurate course and ship positioning. Second, RADAR is used to keep track of other ship traffic. Radios and an automated tracking system are used to keep a safe distance from other ships like freighters and container ships. Third, visual observations from the bridge enable the watch person to determine visibility and weather conditions that may effect navigating the ship. Of course, when there is dense fog like the ship has experienced on the present cruise, the other two components become critical. While it may seem like a glorious job to be up on the bridge of the ship, it certainly requires a person who is able to perform several operations at once and take the blame for things that go wrong.

Screen shot 2014-02-10 at 9.49.05 PM

Thursday has been spent sorting and sampling the catch, which has included flounder (flat and slimy), goosefish (mean and toothy), hake (slender and colorful), crab (determined and crusty), skate (mysterious and smooth) and of course, scallops (graceful and tough). As we sample each station’s catch, we have to check over a list provided by land-based scientists in order to save what they need for their research. Two of those scientists are traveling with us and are very knowledgeable about scallops. Dvora Hart is quantifying the abundance of calico scallops, aging sea scallops, and assessing meat quality in certain areas. Avis Sosa is making a reference collection of shells commonly caught during the clam and scallop surveys, including clappers. Clappers are scallops that are still hinged or connected, but contain no internal organs.

The seas at 40°N and 66°W are affected by Tropical Storm Franklin in the distance. The swells are estimated to be 8 – 10 feet and are rocking the boat constantly. It is difficult to walk straight or stand still, but it is still safe to be here.

You have to also make sure everything is attached, or it will slide right unto the floor.

Personal Log

Sort, Sort, Sort 

Time to muster and be alert for another shift begins,
Shells and starfish wait for us, along with things with fins.
Pull up a bucket and a pad to sample and to sort,
It’s been three days since ALBATROSS steamed from the distant port.
Ouch! I bellowed as a scallop clamped onto my finger,
Upon the deck you sort and scoop, no time to stand and linger.

 

John Sammons, July 27, 2005

NOAA Teacher at Sea
John Sammons
Onboard NOAA Ship Albatross IV
July 25 – August 4, 2005

Mission: Ecosystem Survey
Geographic Region: Northeast U.S.
Date: July 27, 2005

Weather Data from the Bridge

Latitude: 40° 31’ N Longitude: 68° 49’ W
Visibility: undetermined
Wind direction: SSW
Wind speed: 16 knots
Sea wave height: 0
Swell wave height: 0
Sea water temperature: 18°C
Sea level pressure: 1012.6 millibars
Cloud cover: Clear

 

Question of the Day: How do scallops use camouflage and countershading to help protect themselves from their predators? (See pictures 5 and 6.) Is this a physical or behavioral adaptation?

Yesterday’s Answer:

1. pulley         2. inclined plane   3. lever
4. pulley         5. pulley                6. inclined plane
7. lever           8. pulley                9. wheel and axle.
Answers will vary on the second part of the question.

Science and Technology Log

The purpose of this scallop survey is to study the “basic biology and distribution of “ scallops and to study the “population dynamics of the species.” Historically, scallop populations have increased and decreased at alarming rates. Overfishing and natural predators have lead to a significant decline of scallops in the Atlantic Ocean. Conversely, scallop populations have flourished in areas that are closed to fishing, thus allowing scallops to mature more. While this is by far the most important reason why there are fewer scallops, scallops have natural adaptations that also help them survive.

One structural adaptation is their color. Notice in the pictures above that some scallops are dark on top and lighter on the bottom. This allows the scallop to blend into the sandy bottom as seen from above and the bright surface as seen from below. A behavioral adaptation that the scallop has is to shoot water as a way to propel itself from a predator. However, these adaptations are not always strong enough to protect themselves from predators and humans.

On Wednesday, we continued to collect scallops. The shells will be used for determining the age of the scallops. In addition, the meat and gonad weights will be used to estimate shell height/meat weight relationships and annual mating cycles. Some other sea life that is coming up in the dredge are different species of flounder, hake, crabs, skate, goosefish, hermit crabs, and starfish. There are many knowledgeable people on board who have provided mini-lessons for me on fish identification, scallop shucking, data entry, and population dynamics.

Screen shot 2014-02-10 at 9.44.56 PM

Personal Log

Sleepless on the Atlantic 

Steaming forward to the station that is just right up ahead,
Six hours is up, and our shift will end, so it is time to go to bed.
Before I rest and take a nap, some chow I would like to eat,
It will be good to rest a little while and get off of my feet.
The food is great, so many choices that we are able to choose,
Just fill ‘er up and head to bed and settle for a snooze. 

John Sammons, July 26, 2005

NOAA Teacher at Sea
John Sammons
Onboard NOAA Ship Albatross IV
July 25 – August 4, 2005

Mission: Ecosystem Survey
Geographic Region: Northeast U.S.
Date: July 26, 2005

Weather Data from the bridge

Latitude: 40.31 N
Longitude:  69.05 W
Visibility: unknown
Wind direction: S (193 degrees)
Wind speed: 19.6 knots
Sea wave height: 1’
Swell wave height: 1’
Sea water temperature: 17.7°C
Sea level pressure: 1013.0 millibars
Cloud cover: 00 Clear

Question of the Day: Identify and classify the simple machines that make up machines found around the ship. Match the pictures above with the six simple machines-inclined plane, wedge, wheel and axle, screw, wedge, and pulley. Choose one of the machines shown in the pictures, and explain how it makes work easier to do. (Send your answer to one of the e-mails listed below.)

Screen shot 2014-02-10 at 9.40.32 PM

Yesterday’s Answer: The weather instruments located on the ALBATROSS IV that measure wind speed and direction are the anemometer and wind vane. They are combined into one instrument, and it looks like an airplane without wings.

Science and Technology Log

Machines serve an important job on the ALBATROSS IV and any other ship. The six simple machines in of themselves can make work easier to do. For example, a round doorknob handle on a ship’s door is not as common as a lever handle. On a ship, you are often unable to turn a doorknob because your hands may be wet or you may be carrying something. Also, door levers make it easier to tighten hatches securely. Some of these simple machines are combined to make compound machines. On the ship, you will find many examples of both simple and compound machines, all of which make work easier and safer to do.

One way in which machines make the scallop survey easier and safer is the use of a crane with many pulleys. The eight-foot wide dredge is lowered as the ship slows to 3.8 knots. When the dredge reaches the bottom, it is towed for 15 minutes. This allows the dredge to drag and fill the netted and chained device. This device resembles a large purse overfilled with goodies when full. Then the catch or load is dropped and released onto the deck. The large pulley system on one of the cranes allows for a cable that can handle a large weight. Likewise, the boom of the crane supports the weight of the towing dredge. One improvement that would help this compound machine would be to create some kind of conveyor system to bring the load back toward the sampling and measuring area without having to drag loaded baskets and buckets. Coincidentally, this is part of the design of the new ship that will replace the ALBATROSS IV, and as a result make work even easier.

Here is a graph showing the total number of scallops brought in at each of the stations so far. Some areas in which the tow was made are closed to scallop harvesting. As a result, larger and more developed scallops were caught. In tomorrow’s log, you will learn a little more about scallop adaptations that have helped them survive despite negative human influences.

*Numbers 1 – 18 corresponds to stations 0227 – 0244.
*Numbers 1 – 18 corresponds to stations 0227 – 0244.


Personal Log

Sea Duty 

The waves come toward the ALBATROSS and into the lengthy side,
Feel the rocking back and forth, so hold on for the bumpy ride.
Prepare the dredge and send it forth to bring up another load,
Bring out the baskets and buckets and pads to get in a sorting mode.
Place the containers on the scale then measure the scallop’s shell,
Soon the shift will come to an end with only stories left to tell.

 

John Sammons, July 25, 2005

NOAA Teacher at Sea
John Sammons
Onboard NOAA Ship Albatross IV
July 25 – August 4, 2005

Mission: Ecosystem Survey
Geographic Region: Northeast U.S.
Date: July 25, 2005

Weather Data from the bridge

Latitude: 41° 02’ N
Longitude: 69° 15’ W
Visibility: 0
Wind direction: NNW (230)
Wind speed: 15 knots
Sea wave height: unknown
Swell wave height: unknown
Sea water temperature: 11.4° C
Sea level pressure: 1012 millibars
Cloud cover: Dense Fog

Question of the Day:

What weather instruments located on the ALBATROSS IV measure wind speed and direction? (See picture 5.) (Send your answer to my e-mail listed below.)

Science and Technology Log

Weather and other instrumentation play an important part on the ALBATROSS IV. The ship uses a somewhat automated guidance system to take the ship to the predetermined dredging stations. That system also helped us navigate to where we are currently. With the dense fog on our current heading, it was a good thing they do not have to sail by sight only.

Monday morning, we had many people to meet and many things to learn. The fantail, or back area of the ship, was a gathering point for large discussions as well as our “Abandon ship!” drill. In picture 12 I had to don my “”Gumby suit” for a practice “just in case we have to leave the ship” drill. Of course, it was only a practice one that we hope we will never have to use.

Monday afternoon was a busy one getting the ship ready for departure. There has been lots of training and people to meet. While underway our training continued as we learned about safety drills, scallop sorting and measuring, and water sampling. The water sampling is done using a Conductivity Temperature Depth (CTD) device that determines the salinity (saltiness) and temperature at various levels to the bottom.

On Tuesday evening, we used the Fisheries Scientific Computer Systems (FSCS) to take measurements on scallop sizes and weights. This electronically accepts data automatically when the scallop baskets are placed on the scale. Using what looks like a cutting board, the scallops’ length, gender, and meat mass is determined.

I am on watch (which means I am working) from 12 – 6 in the afternoon and from midnight – 6 in the morning.  I am sure to get some photos for the next day or two to show how this survey is done.

Personal Log

Early Arrival 

I arrived on early Sunday eve to find the ship was docked,
Passing through the metal gate that I only thought was locked.
Resting from her recent trip, she makes a humming sound,
Waiting for her crew to board and get a look around.
The sun reflects and sparkles in the ever choppy sea,
I wonder what this exciting adventure will bring to me.