Since 1854 • Bay St. Louis, MISSISSIPPI

Mrs. Boudreaux’s Adventure – Day 3

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Aside from me over sleeping this morning, today has been another great day at sea.

I had planned on getting up at 6 am so that I could communicate with my 1st period class, but I ended up sleeping in until 8 am.  This surprised me because I didn’t think I would sleep much.  The ship is loud, it sways quite a bit and I am sleeping on a top bunk.  I was sure I was going to roll out of bed.  Not to mention the crawl space that I have to get in and out of bed is minimal.  There is less than 2 feet of space between my mattress and the ceiling!  The most challenging thing so far has been to get in and out of that bed, not to mention trying to make the bed!

Bed view
View from my bed.  I have zero head room!

So, I apologize to my first period class.  I hope you still enjoyed the view from the ROVs.  After I woke up and had my coffee, I was in the control van for most of the day.  I was able to talk during my 4th period class, and I was able to continue seeing and hearing your questions and comments come through all afternoon.  Keep it up!

The excitement on board today has been a continuation from last night, when we deployed the ROVs to explore the USS Independence for the first time since it sank in 1951.  The really exciting moment was last night, when we spotted a Hellcat fighter aircraft still in the hangar.  There were numerous of us watching LIVE from the lounge and the entire ship erupted in excitement!  If you have been following along, Jim Delgado and Russ Matthews were the two gentlemen who were narrating the storied past of the USS Independence.  Jim is a marine archaeologist and Russ is historian.  Go to “The Team” link and read their biographies.

The other excitement for today was when we began to conduct the biological surveys and collections of organisms growing on the USS Independence.  If you have watched any of the ROV footage from this dive, you saw that the USS Independence was covered in HUGE sponges!  We were able to bring back eight samples to the surface today.  They are currently being stored in the refrigerator in the wet lab, until they can be transferred to UC Berkeley for further testing.

Overall, this dive lasted almost a full 24 hours of exploring the USS Independence.

We are currently en route to our next site, and we are mapping the sea floor using multibeam sonar.  I was taught how to deploy a temperature recording device for the mapping crew, called an XBT.  It is an instrument that is “shot” off the back of the ship.  As it sinks, it relays temperature data back to the mapping crew to be included in their data sets, along with salinity.  Both temperature and salinity will affect how the sound waves from the multibeam sonar will travel through water.  So it is imperative that they collect this water quality data before mapping.

Tomorrow we will be diving again, but at a different location.  My understanding is that tomorrow’s dive will focus on exploring the biology within the Sanctuary.

Other cool things:
HumpbackYesterday we saw a school of 800 – 1,000 Pacific white-sided dolphins at the surface feeding, and today we saw numerous black-footed albatross, a BLUE WHALE and a HUMPBACK WHALE, all at the surface!!

The ship is rocking pretty significantly tonight….thank goodness for sea sick patches!

-Mrs. B