Friday, June 26, 2009

Day 16- Winged hitchhiker!

Noon Position : 21°36'21.60"N 156°56'9.60"W
We are about 65miles from Oahu! The night watch team is geared up to be extra attentive as we approach the thick boat traffic surrounding the islands. We caught our first male Mahi today, making that Mahi number 10 of the trip. We found 2 puffer fish in its stomach, and no plastic upon initial analyses.

We had a 7th crewmember for the last half of the day…a Booby (this is a kind of seabird- see the picture above then go to this link and see if you can tell us what species it is.) The Booby decided not to fly back to Hawai’i, but instead to catch a ride aboard ORV Alguita. He or she perched atop the gantry for a while preening and scoping for flying fish. After a few hours, the back deck became soiled with Boobie droppings and Jeff decided it was time to encourage the bird to fly off. And it did…to the bow of the boat where it stood its ground for another ½ hour or so. After some more encouragement to get on it's way, the Booby flew up and perched atop the boom and proceeded to soil the mainsail.

Aloha from the Islands,



Clay (East Hills 4H, California)- Agreed, 1 cheerio in the ocean does not sound like a very dense concentration. What should be taken into consideration is that sea life exists in similar concentrations in the open ocean. You can swim along for a significant amount of time before running into any life. While on a blue water expedition the other day, we encountered trash and sea life at roughly the same rate. The concentration of debris must be viewed in under the unique lens of the open ocean. Keep the great questions coming!!

Hi Miraleste Intermediate Students!! Glad you have joined us on Ship2Shore.

For those of who are wondering what (and how much) trash we spot and collect see the answer to your classmate Jasmine’s question on Day 14 (
Here are answers to more of your great questions:

Q:What is your favorite part of the voyage so far?
A:The open ocean swimming has been my favorite experience so far. The open ocean is a gorgeous hue of blue. It is almost otherworldly to be swimming around down there.

Q:What inspired you to go on this voyage?
A:I was inspired to go on this voyage because I knew it was a once in a lifetime opportunity to help make a positive impact on such a widespread issue…marine debris. I think it is important to find something you believe in and fight for it. I find it really disturbing that we have been so carless with our waste that the most remote places on earth are now littered with our trash. I want to be a part of the movement to bring this issue to life and figure out ways to keep it from getting worse.

Holland, Robert, and Briana, the biggest problem we face is the variability of the seas. Sometimes the seas are rougher or calmer than expected, and this can present issues with putting out the trawls and utilizing sail power. If the winds are too light, we have to run the engines and use fuel, which is a very precious resource. However the engines to allow us to sample in the high pressure zone, which is known to accumulate marine debris and characteristically without wind.

Mark the Shark, Jasmin, and Blake, The most plastic we have found in one fish is 83 pieces roughly 60cm long…a very tiny fish! It was a Myctophid , a small fish that feeds at the ocean surface during the night and lives deeper in the ocean during the day. The Myctophids have really cool glow in the dark light spots along the bodies call photophores which allow scientists to distinguish between species

Lizzy and Henry, we only dissected Mahi Mahi because that is all we’ve caught so far on our lines! We have caught smaller fish (Myctophids) in our trawls, but have not dissected any of those ones yet.

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