Today was our final day of sampling until we head back south to Nome. We are in Ledyards Bay collecting CTD and water data, bongo net tows, and van Veen grab contents. The rest of our time has been packing up the lab and looking for marine mammals on the bridge. The lab looks so empty now and it is a bittersweet feeling. On the plus side, a Humpback Whale did come over and visit this boat this morning and was very interested in what we were doing.
Yesterday, I had my webinar (the session is archived here and we were interrupted several times by helicopter operations that were happening on the back deck. For safety reasons, we had to be inside the ship while the helicopter was landing and taking off, but we did get a great view from the bridge. It was so cool to see such a large piece of equipment land on such a small target.
Tonight is also the final Wednesday of the trip, which means the last of three trivia nights. The Coast Guard hosts this event with a mix of researchers and crew participating. There have been other morale nights throughout the expedition including Pirate Day, movie nights, and, my favorite, sumo wrestling in the helo hangar. A tournament style event, the winner won an Amazon gift card. It was a lot of fun to watch both researchers and Coast Guard suit up and take each other on. It drew a big crowd!
Beginning tonight, we will be steaming for 24 hours with an anticipated arrival time in Nome on Thursday evening. We will anchor overnight and then unload Friday morning. I know a lot of us will be spending our time on the bridge to look for wildlife as we go back through the Bering Strait on our journey to port.
A Question From the Crow's Nest
What is the DBO and what kinds of research parties are involved?
Answer from previous post: Since some benthic animals eat the dead materials that fall to the bottom of the ocean, sediment traps can be useful to see what kind and how much of this material is making it to the ocean floor to help sustain these organisms.