Roomie's Teacher@Sea log: http://teacheratsea.noaa.gov/2007/eubanks/pdf/eubanks_log7.pdf
Well, we heard last night there was something haywire with a particular fan, which is pretty important. If it can't be fixed, we will have to go back to San Diego for parts. But for this morning, we are drifting in Pyramid Cove at the south end of San Clemente Island, while the engineer and his helpers take the thing apart and work on it.
This big crane seems like a bit of overkill...
There's been a story on the news about a freaking ship
engine that fell off a truck on a San Diego freeway and crushed several cars - the chief scientist was joking that we should just go pick up the fan from that thing, because it certainly wasn't being used, right? In the meantime, some people are fishing for rockfish, but it's never long before the Jordan
drifts off whatever reef they were over, and they start getting sanddabs (small flatfish).
But someone did get a nice lingcod.
One of the ensigns had the deckhands clean out the seachest, that is, a sort of boxy filter for the seawater intake on the bottom of the vessel. They found a handful of these little rock crabs inside it, They're normally found in the rocky subtidal; I'm thinking they settled out there as planktonic larvae and found enough to eat until they got to this size.
There was a small pod of common dolphins lounging around (at least they didn't seem to be moving around as fast as when we've seen them before), but again, they didn't come close enough to the ship to get a pic.
So, the morning was generally spent being a bit lazy. Sat and chatted with the Mexican biologist about our kids - turns out she's also working on her masters and her husband is getting his PhD - he encouraged her to come on this trip so he could go to Australia later with less guilt. Got a lot more read on JS & MN
- the last volume really speeds up, and the story gets quite a bit more exciting. I know several people in my book group said that they liked the book, but it was possible to put it down and not go back to it right away, maybe pick up something else instead. That became harder to do as it approached the end.
The fan problem was finally fixed and we were able to make the afternoon set about 3:00 pm. I suited up to help set (well, my rubber boots and work vest), but all the spots were taken, so I took a lot of pictures instead.
How to set a longline -
First - Release the
Take the gangions out of the barrels in the proper order, otherwise they will make a big rat's nest...
One or two people bait hooks, another hands the lines off...
(and makes sure they don't get tangled...)
These get handed to the clipper, who takes the line, holds the clip and drops the bait overboard (very important - you don't want the hook to grab anything on the boat or maybe somebody's boot as the line goes out). Every 50' there are a pair of crimped on metal stoppers about 6" apart; the trick is grab the line with your left to steady it and snap the clip on between the stoppers with your right, without making the winch operators slow or stop the line going out.
The rhythm is five hooks and then a float (which holds the line up near the surface). The floats clip on to a loop in the line, which is coiled in a basket, clipped end to end. Unclip the lines from each other, clip the float to line on one end...
Same thing, hold the clip, throw the float overboard, and snap it on the line between the stoppers. Don't drop it! Or they gotta get out the little boat to go get it - and everyone will razz you until someone else does it...
And so on, until you get to the end of the hooks, or maybe you run out of bait. Then you can sit down...
...and watch all the floats bobbing off into the distance...
Several large blues caught on the afternoon haul, and a very large Mola mola
(ocean sunfish) about a meter long and two thirds that wide, which got a satellite tag. He forlornly flapped his fins back and forth and rolled his eyes until he was released. The biologist who tagged him told me they have weirdest science fiction-y slime on them which does NOT come off anything. And it stinks.
The shark's eyes are covered with a rag to keep it from panicking and thrashing...
For dinner, the cooks set up a BBQ on the aft deck, and grilled about six different kinds of meat. The menu is really set up for carnivores - there's meat in almost everything. I feel bad for one of the grad students, who's a vegetarian. Quite often there's not a lot for him to eat except a few side dishes, and quite a few of those have bacon or some other leftover meat in them, because they're trying to use up the leftovers. Even I feel like it's too much sometimes. I don't know whether they didn't get the message or what, but I think he's been on this cruise since it started. Poor guy was putting potato chips in a bun for dinner.
I can't believe it's been a week already.
| Afternoon set :|