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You are here: /main/research expeditions/HURL 2002/journals/Dispatch 1

HURL 2002

Ship Logs

Update from the KOK(9/9/02)
by Rachel Shackelford

This is our second day of transit, on our way to the NWHI. Yesterday we were cruising along at about 12 knots and our estimated time of arrival (ETA) at our first dive site was at about 2-3 pm today. One of the two engines started acting up today and had to be shut down so the engineers could fix it. Our reduced pace of about 6 knots means that we won't get there till nightfall. We were all geared up to start mapping the area around Brooks Banks this afternoon, but now that we will be getting there later, we will start with ROV (remotely operated vehicle) dives. Tonight's ROV dives will hopefully give us a preview of what species of fish and invertebrates to expect on tomorrow's submersible dive. There is not much to do during transit time. Many of us have been studying our fish and coral identifications. Most of the submersible dives on this cruise are going to involve two 'observers' with their foreheads pressed up against the porthole taking turns shouting out the names of everything living that they see. We managed to pick out about 50 species of fish that were likely to be most common in the 200-350 m depth range and have been quizzing each other with flashcards. It is important that each observer knows their ID's really well since they will have to call them out in rapid succession as several different types of fish swim by. In the remainder of our time we have been reading books, getting to know one another, and watching movies. The biggest moment of excitement today was seeing La Perouse Pinnacle out on the horizon. Since we will be surveying the deep banks of the atolls up here, we will always be pretty far from shore. I didn't expect to see any land at all this whole month, so it was quite a treat to see a bit of rock out in the distance. Yesterday's moment of excitement occurred when one of the lines set off the stern of the ship caught a fish. Three crewmen rushed out there and hauled the line in with their hands, and brought a good-sized mahimahi onboard! Paul (one of the cooks) fixed up some seafood curry and fresh sashimi for lunch today - yumm! The meals are often one of the daily highlights. Without an exercise room, many of us try to watch what we eat? but Judy's sugar cookies are too good to pass up! I usually expect to gain a few pounds while on the ship - I will just have to run more when we get back home.

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Craetomorpha sponge. Image by HURL.

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