Monday, July 16, 2012

RV Bellows Microbiology/Shelf Sampling Cruise - July 2012

Final Entry by Cassie Wood, Deep-C REU

I’m back from the 3 day research cruise on the research vessel Bellows and, boy am I tired! I had lots of fun, though.

I enjoyed watching the land pass us by and seeing the occasional wildlife. Pods of dolphins would visit us and we even got pieces of jellyfish on our collecting tanks. We caught three Mahi, which were promptly turned into filets and countless Benito fish that were thrown back into the sea. I caught one of the Benitos myself. It was quite a workout. Unfortunately, we didn’t eat the Mahi on the ship, but our cook, Patrick, was fantastic. I also did not mind the endless supply of soda, chips, and ice cream provided to us.

However, the trip wasn’t all fun and games. I was there to work. My main job was to repetitively filter water that was collected during our voyage. It was easy work and satisfying to watching the water go down through the filters. Another part of my job included erratic sleeping times. Our schedule was governed by transit times between stations (aka collection points), so the only times we could sleep were when there was a several hour gap between stations.
The filtering ensemble I used the entire trip.
Finally, something interesting happened the last day. A major part of our equipment, the device we were using to collect water samples failed. This was a mixed blessing because, although it was difficult to collect samples now, we were at the point in our voyage where we did not need to collect many anymore. Also, the students got the rare treat of seeing how researchers collected water samples the “old school” way.

The “major part of our equipment,” the conductivity, temperature, depth instrument (CTD).
I had a great time with such a host of intelligent people and I hope to do it again sometime in the future. Just not in the near future because I need my beauty sleep.

Post Author:
Cassie Wood

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