Blog on ocean conditions along the Newport Line and the northern CA Current.
We are making progress on our second full day of sampling. We worked off of Gold Beach (lat. 43.5 N) in Southern Oregon under mostly clear skies and light winds so we are thankful for that. Not too much in the way of avian activity on the birding transects but we did see a large aggregation of humpback whales as well as some Orcas that passed by fairly close to the ship.
The In Situ Ichthyoplankton Imaging System (with the unfortunate acronym of ISIIS) that was described in the last posting has been generating some interesting data as it undulates up and down across the shelf region on its daily run. The deployments have been accomplished with excellent skills by the deck crew and officers. Curtis Roegner of NOAA took a great time-laspe video of a deployment that we'll post once we overcome a couple technical difficulties (on the land-side). The video that the instrument provides us shows amazing clear images of small and medium sized plankton and their spatial orientation and distribution patterns providing a new tool for looking at plankton in ways never before possible with traditional nets.
Trawling continues at night with still low numbers of rockfish juveniles and flatfishes, but we did hit a patch of hake collecting both young-of-the-year and even some adult individuals nearshore. The age-0 hake do not always occur in our surveys and suggests perhaps some more northerly spawning activity this past winter. We continue to catch lots of midwater fishes (especially offshore) and gelatinous zooplankton in the tows but few crustaceans and larger fishes.
Morale is good so far and the scientists did very well in the Texas Hold ‘Em Poker tourney last night, but I am sure the crew will get them back soon. Food has been outstanding and we may need to indulge in some self-control by the end of the cruise.