10 March, 2000
We are still gathering samples and data at Station C. It is about three degrees Celsius today with the water temperature between 1 and
2 degrees Celsius. The wind is still blowing about 40 knots with a light freezing rain and the swells are 5-8 feet. We are still
having to repeat our box core sampling and multicore sampling because many times the rough seas keep the gear from landing correctly at the bottom and getting a good core of mud. It is between 500 and 550 meters deep here and takes several minutes for the gear to reach the bottom as the cable lets it down. With the waves it is very
difficult to get the gear to fall vertically straight down and land upright.
This afternoon we used an otter trawl to collect sea animals (mostly macroinvertibrates and a few fish). An otter trawl is a net towed behind the ship the are weights along the bottom edge of the net to hold that down and floats along the top edge of the net to hold it up so that the net can be towed vertically through the water. There are heavy wooden doors attached to each side of the net to hold the net open from side to side. As the net is towed through the water the animals swim or are scooped into the wide opening. The back part of the net is very narrow so that the animals cannot swim or move back out. When the net is pulled back on board the back end of the net is untied ant the animals are placed in trays of water.
Our otter trawl was very successful with lots of interesting animals:sponges, worms, sea anemones, crinoids, octopus, baby sea urchins, sea stars and brittle stars, gastropods (snails), clams and
a few fish (even a tiny ray).
We spent a good part of the evening sorting our catch and putting some things in the aquarium and preparing some of the dead organisms for tests such as DNA analysis back at the university labs.
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