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You are here: /main/research expeditions/August/September 2007/Last Day

Day 14 - Last Day in the Field.
Friday, September 7

by Carlie Wiener

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Monk seals at FFS
Hawaiian monk seals are endangered, but many can be found at French Frigate Shoals, Carlie Wiener.

Well here we are on our last field day, and I am fortunate enough to go out with the Maritime Heritage team again. The boats are all working in the north end trying to dive the areas which they have not gotten to yet. Yesterday, the Maritime Heritage team discovered some new wreck material; they are hoping that they will be able to do this again next year to further look at the wreck. Once a shipwreck is found, it takes a long time to identify the ship, mark all the pieces, etc. The team moved very quickly today looking at numerous sites that were reported to have debris. They did find several artifacts, such as a bell, a few anchors and some piping. Each item was photographed, documented with GPS and measured. This task was made more difficult by the curious uluas (jacks) nipping at our tail.

Kelly metal detector
Dr. Kelly Gleason uses the metal detector to pick up on metallic debris, Carlie Wiener.

In the afternoon, the crew met up with some of the other research groups who were doing work at La Perouse. This is by far one of my favorite sites so far. The reef structure is intricate with lots of coral variety, fish and sea birds. We even had a chance encounter with two monk seals and a turtle. As this was our last day out, all four away boats met at the end of the day and traveled back to the ship as a team. The coordinated effort looked spectacular and made for a nice close to two weeks of hard work in the field. The last of the samples collected today were processed in the wet lab this evening. We are now journeying back for the next few days, and should be in Oahu on Monday. I think most of the crew is feeling a bit melancholy about leaving such a special place. Everyone has put a lot of effort into the work they have done, and now the research will be taken into labs and offices to better understood. From French Frigate Shoals a hui hou!

Last day in the field.
The away boats transit together back to the ship, Carlie Wiener.

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Coral bleaching

Galapagos shark

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