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2004 Daily Log

06/17/04 - Media Day


Time: 8:45 pm  
Lat: 33° 21.7 min N
Long: 76° 34.6 min W

R/V Cape FearWe awoke to a beautiful sunrise in the east. Clear skies and calm seas meant a perfect day for the media tour. It is always a little challenging to plan the media day. We can never depend on good weather and although we have a mission plan, we are not always able to predict where we will be more than 24 hours ahead of time. Fortunately, we have people on shore who help coordinate the event. We do our part too, preparing short video clips and CD-ROMs of still images that people can use immediately.

The sub went down at 8 am with Alan Brooks in the bow and Martha Nizinski in the stern. When they got to the dive location the current was very strong - more than a knot at times. The battery does not last as long when the sub has to fight the current. We had hoped that the R/V Cape Fear, the UNCW research vessel transporting our guests, might meet us at 11 am so the visitors could observe a sub recovery. Unfortunately their trip out to our location took longer than expected, so they arrived after the sub was back on deck.

discussion in the labUpon first arriving on board, we took our guests into the wet lab so they could see some of the specimens we have collected. There were galatheid crabs, sea urchins, Lophelia, and a few fish. After a quick look we headed to the galley, the ship's kitchen and dinning room, for an outstanding luncheon of ravioli stuffed with lobster, salmon in puff pastry, tenderloin, asparagus, and triple flavor polenta. Chef Judy did it right!

Our guests had a tour of the ship, including a visit to the bridge and a stop on the deck. We then went down to visit the sub and Craig, head of the sub crew, demonstrated the manipulator arm and let people stick their heads up into the stern compartment. We returned to the labs to talk about our research and meet some of the science team.

blackbelly rosefish, photo courtesy of NOAA
Photo courtesy of NOAA
Luckily there was time for the visitors to watch the launch of the sub before they had to leave. Then they transferred back over to the Cape Fear for the long ride back to Wilmington, North Carolina. The sub returned with a blackbelly rosefish and a chaunax fish as well as a spider crab.

We are now steaming southward which means we are fighting the Gulf Stream. We hope to stop at several sites over the next few days on the way back to Ft. Pierce, Florida. We should arrive at our next location just in time to put the sub in the water.

06/17/04 Research Data

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