6 November Blog1 - And that’s a wrap folks…

So we’ve thrown the dock lines and have secured the R/V Armstrong back to the dock at WHOI. After living in very close quarters, eating meals together, telling and hearing stories, and all the other aspects that make ship-board life a unique experience, we are saying our goodbyes and the science crew is traveling back to their lives on land. We had a very good cruise and continued our streak of collecting wayward vessels aboard the Armstrong (we’re now up to 3: an autonomous sailboat in 2017 and a dinghy and glider on this trip). On behalf of the ADEON team, thanks to the Captain and crew of the RV Armstrong for a great trip. We had good weather and were able to complete nearly everything we had planned to do.

5 November 2019 Blog1 - Saved the Best for Last

Our last tow on the research vessel was conducted on the 4th, around 02:00 – 06:00 in the morning. The catch was by far the most impressive we’ve seen. Our tow consisted of the myctophids, krill, shrimp, large salps, cyclothone, and sigmops that are common to see in our net tows. However, the catch held a surprise… a ~ 0.33-meter-long squid! (aka. About a foot long.)

4 November 2019 Blog1 - Salp Suckers New Inductees' !

The Salp Sucker Society. Like many traditions, its origin has been lost to time. Some say it started when Neptune challenged the Roman sailors to prove their devotion to the sea in return for safe passage. The initiation consists of the imbibing of a salp. For those who are curious, a salp is a gelatinous marine organism belonging to a primitive group called tunicates. Congratulations - Aaron, Cassidy, Emmanuelle, Jacob, and Katelyn!

3 November 2019 Blog1 - a time of change. . . .

The time change; happens every year, yet it is always the source of a lot of confusion. Will I put my morning alarm an hour backwards or forwards? If my phone is on airplane mode, will it automatically change to the proper time? This year some of us worked through the time change at sea, so we had an additional task of noting the time change in our log so we could correct for time appropriately for future analysis.

2 November 2019 Blog1 - Echo and Analogy.

“Man must understand his universe in order to understand his destiny. Mystery, however, is a very necessary ingredient in our lives. Mystery creates wonder and wonder is the basis for man’s desire to understand. Who knows what mysteries will be solved in our lifetime, and what new riddles will become the challenge of the new generation? Science has not mastered prophesy. We predict too much for the next year yet far too little for the next ten. Responding to challenges is one of democracy’s great strengths. Our successes in space can be used in the next decade in the solution of many of our planet’s problems.” — Neil Armstrong, in a speech to a Joint Meeting of the Two Houses of Congress to Receive the Apollo 11 Astronauts (16 Sep 1969), in the Congressional Record.

1 November 2019 Blog1 - Twas a dark and stormy night. . . . and the sea was angry!

The science crew made sure to make the best of our time while we were transiting by celebrating the holiday! The dry lab was decorated with numerous hand-drawn spooky monsters and critters such as Nessie who came all the way across the Atlantic to see us and other creatures of the night.

31 October 2019 Blog1 - Approaches for turning environmental DNA (eDNA) into interpretable DNA sequence data.

Happy Halloween! I was trying to think of something witty to connect DNA and Halloween, but have come up empty-handed. Or, perhaps a discussion of DNA sequencing and dredging up memories of past genetics coursework is frightening enough by itself for some of you out there. It still scares me sometimes too...

30 October 2019 Blog1 - Cruise Thursday!

Today is the night of October 29, day 14, on the R/V Armstrong. Yesterday was also our cruise Humpday! YIPPIE! Our plan of the day is at our second to last station, JAX. We will start out doing a FSAS and then a BONGO and IKMT shallow tow. The waters are relatively calm, so I am hoping we catch something cool! (Although we have caught a lot of cool things up to this point.)

28 October 2019 Blog1 - Harvesting the Bottom-Landers.

The landers sit on the seafloor, weighed down by over 800 lbs. of weight.  These weights keep the lander in place until a mermaid releases them with her song.  Just kidding, but it is an acoustic release that frees the lander of its heavy burden.  The lander is then positively buoyant due to the three glass spheres (inside the orange plastic) attached to it, allowing it to ascend to the sea surface.
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