Day 2 on the Southern Surveyor and time for UWA’s Julia Reisser, also known as ‘The Trash Girl’, to log in from the high seas.
Sunday, 14 August 2011, 12:55hrs
Ok! So let’s bring some news of our second day on the RV Southern Surveyor.
The sun was shining (again), the food was amazing (as usual) and the work started in a beautiful calm sea! Our first mission was to conduct 3 neuston trawls in coastal waters off southwest Tasmania.
Neuston nets are used to sample the interface air-water where floating pieces of plastic tends to concentrate. So, do you think there was marine debris in this remote region?
The answer is yes. Some small fragments were collected for the first time in this part of the ocean.
During the neuston trawls, a cute seal came close to the ship. Happy to see this nice animal and relieved that it didn’t bite the net! It came so close to check it out!
I also did 2 hours of visual observation in the bridge, looking for big floating garbage. I found two ~20cm fragments of white plastic (Styrofoam), lots of seaweeds, birds, and a BIG fish swimming close to the surface (definitely a shark).
We did a CTD station to collect oceanographic data (temperature, salinity, oxygen profiles from surface till 800 meters). We also took some water samples (@ 800, 600, 400 m and surface) for metal analysis (Jason ‘Ironman’ Reynolds stuff). It was cool to see how this operation works at Southern Surveyor. The system is great! The CTD deployment is pretty easy, from the side of the ship.
After that, we had an XBT release with some nice teaching time (Prof. Mark Sherlock). These small torpedos give us temperature profiles till about 800 meters. It is a very easy way to get this important info when time is short, such as in Transit Voyages like this one.
At night we had more 3 neuston trawls in coastal waters of northwest Tasmania and there were just a few pieces of plastic – much less than in the trawls we made in southwest Tasmania.
I finished work at 22:30 when I went for some Brazilian tea time with Luana, who is from Rio de Janeiro, and then to my new room. It is a really nice one!