SEA Currents: megafauna
This morning we woke up bright and early to a breakfast of English muffins. At 7:30, we boarded the school bus and embarked on the hour long journey to Plymouth where we were scheduled to go whale watching.
The boat was large and crowded, but our hopes were high and we enjoyed looking out at the vast and open ocean. After an hour of sailing to our destination, we came to an abrupt stop where we saw several humpback whales. Humpback whales are between 35 and 55 feet long, so seeing these massive creatures ride in and out of the waves made our respect for the ocean and its ecosystems greater than it had been when we arrived in Woods Hole two weeks ago.
Noise Pollution and Getting Involved!
This morning for breakfast we had pancakes, bacon, and strawberries. After breakfast we had our watch meetings where we learned the sheet bend knot from the very talented and capable RAs.
By 8:30 we were in the Madden Center ready for our first class from guest speaker Dr. Heather Heenehan. She taught us about the work she has done to study marine mammals and noise pollution. It was pretty early, but she woke us up by doing a fun activity where we act as whales and try and find our pod. We were each given a device to make beeps and a pattern that matched up with other classmates and we had to find who had the same pattern. The high beep noises definitely woke us up!
Stanford@SEA: Final Blog
The sighting came while the ship was stopped so we could lower scientific instruments into the deep blue—for the last time.. A large white shape appeared just below the surface not 50 feet away from our side. It moved forward to aft and then disappearing behind us, among the whitecaps and glare of the sun. Moments later, it was back. This time the large creature was almost bobbing at the surface; this time presenting a clearly recognizable shape. “Whale ho,” went out a cry from the quarterdeck.
Stanford@SEA: Three Sheets to the Wind!
Stanford@SEA 2017 is on the move once again. At 2213 Friday evening, after 38 hours at anchor to the lee of Isle Maria, the ship’s company hoisted the Bobby C.‘s anchor and got underway for our next stop - Rarotonga!
The weather is cooperating. We are finally being pushed by the west-blowing trade winds predicted for this voyage, and our estimated time of arrival to Rarotonga is 0900 Monday morning.
Dolphins, Whales and 21st Birthdays
What a day on the Cramer! This is about to be a long blog, but I deemed it necessary to try to capture all that this day had to offer, so stick with me. Though every day has its excitement here on board, today was something to remember. We spent the day in the Hudson Canyon, the largest submarine canyon along the US Atlantic Coast, rivaling the depth and scale of the Grand Canyon, just southeast of New York City.
We got the opportunity to participate in the New York Seascape program, a program working to connect New York residents to their nearby ocean.
Boat Bucket List
You have heard about the experiences from all of the students so now I’m going to give you my experience from the perspective of a staff member here aboard the Cramer.
When I told my friends and family that I was going to live on a boat for six weeks back in 2014 they thought I was crazy.
Sweet Life on Deck
We have officially left the coastal waters of the Bahamas, and have entered the high seas, en route to Bermuda. Today was another eventful day onboard the Cramer; standing watch, collecting samples, conducting genetic extractions/analyses, and setting sails. During the allocated “class time,” the crew divided into watch teams (A, B, and C) and set all nine of the Cramer’s sails.
Feeling pretty tropical
Just one of the things I never imagined I would truthfully say: This morning around 0330 Sammi and I spotted land for the first time in twenty-seven days. We were standing on the science deck after deploying the Neuston net at 0121 (later than usual but science never sleeps). I noticed an amorphous darkness on the horizon directly in front of where we were looking and questioned my own eyesight. Although it was dark outside, the mass appeared too dark to be a cloud and definitely not part of the ocean that we’ve become so accustomed to looking at.
Having a Whale of a Time
“Whale!” exclaimed our 3rd Assistant Scientist Helen Duffel as we all stood lined up on the science deck on the port side of the ship learning how to deploy the Nueston net, one of our many ocean sampling tools. Although some of us, myself included, only managed to catch a glimpse of the spray from its blowhole our 1st mate Scott would later explain that it was most likely a Sperm whale based on the fact that its spray was at an angle and that it came up for air at least 20 times that he saw.
Birds, Beets, Bioluminescent Dolphins
Okay, so I don’t think we’ve actually had any beets while on board the ship yet, but I thought this title was pretty clever. Today is not my scheduled time to blog but the Sunday slots are open for anyone to sign up! After this afternoon’s bird extravaganza, it became a perfect opportunity share some photos and write about it! It comes to no surprise that I would talk about seeing birds in my first post!