Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Second Day in the Eastern Garbage Patch

September 18, 2007

It is after nightfall and we are preparing for a night dive in misty rain and 1026 millibars of atmospheric pressure. During the day we collected debris, like a hard hat and a jar with food inside (very unappetizing). We also trawled for debris and along with disturbing amounts of plastic fragments and line, got an interesting squid, whose identity is a mystery. Maybe you know what species it is. We have successfully replaced the malfunctioning hydraulic pump on the auto- pilot, which is the cause for much rejoicing.

We took the dingy out and cruised around looking for things. We found jellyfish that looked like plastic and plastic that looked like jellyfish. It gets harder and harder to tell the difference between the two.


Profe AquaSendas said...

We have created a link in our programa "Escuela a Bordo" (School at Sea) for our friends to find out more about the Alguita cruise.
AquaSendas, CHILE

ORV Alguita said...

I will also share your website with everyone back here in the Algalita Marine Research Foundation! It sounds like your School at Sea program is amazing! Thank you for sharing!
Here is the full link;

Paul Clarke said...

Interesting that the pictured squid, which defies easy identification, was found so close to the surface. It's pale colour makes me think it spends most of its time below the sunlit layers. Yet you apparently caught it right in the top metre or so of the water column. Or was this a night trawl and the critter had come up to the surface to feed?

My class would love to continue to receive daily noon position reports along with all the other info that gets posted. We're plotting your position both on a very large small-scale map of the Pacific Ocean as well as on Google Earth. Thanks!

Kia P. said...

It's interesting to know that there are many plastics and jelly fishes that look alike. Which of the two did you find more often?

ORV Alguita said...

Squid ID response
From what I remember from zooplankton courses....I think it might be in the genus Chiroteuthis. They usually have really long tentacles, but where probably ripped off.
Julianne E. Kalman, Ph.D.
Exhibits Curator
Cabrillo Marine Aquarium

ORV Alguita said...

Great question. We may not have kept a count of plastic vs. jellyfish but after we analyze the samples we will know if we found more plastic than plankton by weight.