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2009 Nancy Foster Cruise
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Gray's Reef Expedition
Log Day 9: June 16, 2009

By CJ Carroll
Intern, Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary

Today was another beautiful day on the water. The wind died down and the water was as smooth as glass. It made for a wonderful day on the ship. It also helped us to be extremely productive. Fishing was the only activity that was slow but by the end of the day they did bring a red snapper to us.

Approaching storm as seen off the aft deck of the ship.
Approaching storm as seen off the aft deck of the ship. (Photo: Karin Paquin)
Media joined us on board again today. They got to see the entire group of scientist complete the planned tasks. Peter Auster and his group of divers we able to complete two dives and see the predation events they wanted to record. Laura Kracker and Victoria Price analyzed Didson data that was collected yesterday during lunch.

The acoustic tagging project is up and running. Sarah Fangman and Matt Kendall deployed three receivers this morning. Then Sarah and CJ Carroll deployed the last two receivers in the afternoon. Every receiver was dropped in the right place off the boat, so none had to be moved by the divers in the water. These wonderful drops were accomplished by three wonderful coxswains: Ben Nolan, Jeremy Brock, and Jody Edmond. The full array of receivers is now listening for the tagged fish in the sanctuary. We will download the data from these receivers in 2 to 3 months so we can track where the fish have come and gone.

Greg McFall conducts surgery with help from CJ Carroll.
Greg McFall conducts surgery with help from CJ Carroll.
On June 11, 2009, we were able to surgically implant tags into 5 fish: three gag, one red snapper, and one red grouper. The surgeries were completed very efficiently by Greg McFall and Matt Kendall. All fish that have gone through surgery survived and have been released back into the sanctuary. Tomorrow we will be able to implant a tag into another red snapper.

The wonderful weather held until about 7:30 pm. Then a huge storm hit. Winds picked up to make the seas a little rougher and the rain poured onto the ship. The ship’s crew had to hurry to secure everything. The wonderful crew went into the rain and made sure that the ship and the scientists did not lose anything during the storm. Karin Paquin and CJ Carroll made sure the one red snapper on board was in a tank under the overhang and the tanks were held down by weights. We would not have been able to secure the tanks without help from the crew.

This cruise has been a wonderful experience for me. I helped where I could on all of the projects. Working with Melody Ovard on the multibeam and biosonics planning has been a new and eye opening experience. She has shown me how interesting a job as a survey technician is. Plus, you get to be on a boat all the time. I also had the opportunity last night to watch Kevin Adams steer the ship over the lines Melody had chosen for the biosonics. Every experience on board the Nancy Foster has been fun and exciting. I definitely hope to join another cruise in the future.



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