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You are here: /main/research expeditions/May 2005/Day 3 FFS

Day 3, French Frigate Shoals
by Kelly Gleason, Maritime Archaeology Team

Hi'ialakai Launch, Robert SchwemmerToday was our last day of fieldwork at French Frigate Shoals before we head north to Maro Reef early tomorrow morning. While the coral disease team continued to set permanent transects, and the maritime archaeology team investigated an unidentified wreck near Skate Island, the fish team went two separate ways in the zodiac and whaler. Once these small boats were launched from the Hi’ialakai this morning, Brian and Jeff headed to the east of Trig Island to continue collecting samples for their genetic studies work. They have been collecting at three different habitats over the course of our work at French Frigate Shoals: acropora reef areas, spur and groove, and back reef habitats. Today, they concentrated on back reef habitats. They were successful in their work today and had another evening processing their samples in the wet lab late into the evening.

Collectively, the fish team is helping to answer questions about the ecosystem in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. Their work will help answer questions about how to manage these vast areas that tend to be managed as separate ecosystems.

After four days of work off the Hi’ialakai, scientists and crew have the routine of deploying the small boats in the morning and returning in the late afternoon down pretty well. However, we have to remind ourselves every morning as we gather all of our gear and supplies that we need for the days work that we can’t let anything we do out here become too routine. As we transit around the atolls and jump in beautiful electric blue water to conduct our daily operations, we are so far away from everything and safety is a huge issue for all scientists and crew. Luckily, the crew of the Hi’ialakai is an incredible team who make our work out here not only possible, but successful and safe on a daily basis.





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