By Sally Pryor
Youth Working Group Member
Monitor National Marine Sanctuary
MNMS Youth Working Group Member, Sally Pryor, poses for a picture with Captain Bob Wallace aboard the RV-8501.. (NOAA)
One month ago I never could have dreamed of having such an opportunity, but low and behold, I am sitting in the galley of the Sanctuary Research Vessel, RV-8501 scribbling down notes in the back of a book! My purpose here is to shadow The Battle of the Atlantic Expedition as a representative from the MNMS's Youth Working Group, with the goal of gaining experience with what the "big leaguers" do.
Aside from observing dive personnel from my spot on top of a cooler, I have been charged with the duty of talking to the various scientists who are especially helpful in filling in the details of the voyage and the work that went into it. Through this, I gathered what it would be like to be a marine archaeologist or biologist, based on the tales regaled and the studies told to me.
Being able to talk with professionals like that on the RV-8501 is an excellent way for me and other potential students to get a better idea of the work that is done on a research ship. Opportunities like this should be open to all students!
Some other things I learned during this trip:
A. Dramamine is your friend, and
B. You can't say no to the captain!
Sally Pryor follows Captain Bob's orders as she retrieves a buoy from the stern of the RV-8501.. (NOAA)
That last point had me precariously perched off the stern of the ship, stretching a boat hook out over deep, dark churning waters in order to pull a buoy onto the boat. Granted, I had the help of two able-bodied divers, John and Joe, to do all the work, I mean help me pull up the line, and the mission was accomplished under the watchful eyes of the crew!