06/30/2011, Gulf of Mexico
On our transit to Gulfport, MS we encountered a large mat of Sargasso. There are all kinds of life on and around these mats. We saw trigger fish, turtles, mahi mahi, blue runners, trumpet fish, a shark, and an abundant amount of trash. It's a great spot for fishing. Unfortunately we didn't have any luck with dinner.
Weather: sunny, 85 degrees, winds 6 knots, seas 1 foot
06/30/2011, Charleston, SC
The sixth cruise for the Cape Hatteras this year was a 2 day trip out of Charleston, SC. We worked stations offshore, in Charleston Harbor, up the Cooper River, and in the Wando River. The science party was looking at the interface between the salty water from the ocean and the fresh water from the rivers. They did multiple CTD cast for water samples and coring with the multicore for bottom sediment.
The above picture is salinity data collected from the CTD at the surface while we drifted in and out of a salt wedge. The salinity jumps from 24 to 26 and back down to 24 as we drift.
05/25/2011, Mission Annelid: Success
Well, we have all returned safely (excepting the trawl net). Today was full of packing and travel. For some of us, this meant jumping in a van and driving over inordinate amounts of America. For others of us, it meant meeting quite singular taxi drivers and spending unconscionable periods of time sitting in the New Bern airport.
Overall, it seems everyone feels the trip was a success! Again, as an undergrad, it is not my place to judge. But speaking with the scientists, it seems everyone got something they wanted.
I considered this trip an unqualified success because I spent my days elbow-deep in mud. Good mud (I know some of you know what I'm talking about - that some kinds of mud are just better than others). I have not played in so much mud since I was seven. During this cruise, I would wake up in the morning, grab some breakfast, and plunge both arms into a 5-gallon Home Depot bucket of mud. Ten minutes later, I was covered in it, every day. Invariably.
To conclude: Samples were gathered. No one died. Laura played in mud. Everyone went home happy...except the aforementioned trawl net.
And now we all go our separate ways. Different states, different countries. All of us united for one week in a wondrous quest: The Quest for Annelids.