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SEA Currents Blog

SEA Currents: Corwith Cramer

December 02, 2014

Abundance of Sargassum and Mahi Mahi

Jessica Donohue, Assistant Scientist, C-210 Alum

Colonization to Conservation in the Caribbean

Above: The catch of the day! Chief Mate Sarah and Farley hold up the beautiful Mahi mahi they pulled in. Below: Sarah, Matt and Jess head out to collect Sargassum.

Noon Position
16°17.4’N X 045°05.6’W

Description of location
NEC Transition Zone/Mid-Atlantic Ridge

Ship Heading (degrees)

Ship Speed (knots)
7.2 knots

Taffrail Log (nm)

Weather / Wind / Sail Plan (from 1300 Watch Change)
Sailing on a port tack under main, mainstays’l, course, tops’l and raffee.  Seas ESE, 6ft and wind ExS, Force 4.

Marine Debris Observed last 24hrs (estimate of totals)
1 Pringles lid collected

Sargassum Observed last 24hrs (estimate of totals)
Lots!  Many windrows observed throughout the day.

Greetings from the Mid-Atlantic Ridge! Today has been a very eventful and exciting day onboard, a great day to write the blog. Morning watch began as a typical watch, getting equipment prepared for our morning science station, until we heard the call “Fish on”.  The science team headed aft to help Chief Mate Sarah pull in the fishing line while Farley helped bring the catch on deck.  It was a beautiful Mahi mahi, the largest one caught yet, 60 inches long and weighing 40 pounds!  Nina and Ger used only half of the meat to make a delicious lunch of sushi and raman for the crew, while the eyes, otoliths and stomach contents were dissected for science. 

After the commotion died down, we went on to have a busy watch with successful deployments of the CTD, Secchi disk, phytoplankton net, neuston net and even the dip net to catch some Sargassum. Later in the day we spotted the largest windrow of Sargassum we had seen yet, right before we were all surprised by a man-overboard drill.  After everyone responded very swiftly to the drill, we left the small boat in the water so we could use this opportunity to its full potential and collect some samples from the large masses of Sargassum floating by. I had the opportunity to ride in the rescue boat and take some photographs as First Scientist Matt collected the samples. 

The day came to a close with a nice sunset and Megan and I, resident geologists, searching for the best resources to figure out exactly when we will be crossing over the spreading center of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge! We are very close and should be over the spreading center, where new ocean floor is created, sometime in the next 12 hours. I am pretty excited about this, even though we won’t see it (expect on the depth profile on the CHIRP screen), just knowing that we are directly above one of the most magnificent features on the planet is pretty sweet.

Colonization to Conservation in the CaribbeanTomorrow we should be reaching Researchers Ridge, a very shallow feature (563m), where we should be able to collect some interesting data and maybe even deploy a Shipek grab to bring up a scoop of the seafloor. Now it’s time for a quick nap before Midwatch, dreaming of the green flash and more moon bows.



#1. Posted by Susan Donohue on December 03, 2014

Jess and Cramer shipmates,
Wow what an exciting day for all of you. Crossing the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, fascinating!  Missing you and reading your blog daily. We put up our Christmas tree, 17 feet tall. Hopefully we will finish decorating by the time you land!  Enjoy and love ya
Mom, Dad, Brandon, Ruger, Cheyenne, Diesel, and of course Truman

#2. Posted by Steve Hadik on December 05, 2014

I have a near exact photo taken of me with this fish’s granddaddy on Seamester 1977!

So exciting for me to see another generation taking up the mantle to learn the way of a ship!

Go for it!!



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