The crew was joined by Steve and Don, our inverts experts, and Jeremy, our other VRG family member/fish-butcher. Dana threw a fit after being told to go sleep in the wheel house to make room for Steve. We did five trawls between Isla Vista, south of UCSB and San Miguel Island. Our net hit 460 meters, possibly the deepest spot yet. The amount of animals brought up in the net each time was massive. Because of the endless flow of animals pouring down our buckets and trays, the crew split up into the FISH people and the INVERTS people. FISH people boasted that they caught deep sea gulper eel, hilarious snail fish, meowing cat sharks, blown up rockfish which eyes near the point of exploding, and ALMOST a baby Mola. Certainly our two biggest fish of the trip yet were a black gill rock fish and a long nose skate. I personally think INVERTS ppl did better (shameless bias from the writer). The second trawl looked like it came straight from Santa’s toy factory of plastic red brittle stars, unfortunately marred by zillions of hideous urchins. Joining the formalin and 95% ethanol jars were crabs, sea stars, sea cucumbers and unidentified globs of matter, all seemed like they just fell from Mars. Great pods of dolphins and some humpback whales accompanied the R/V Yellowfin for a few minutes until the boat docked at Santa Barbara again. Our insanely amazing chef Jessica continued to nourish our already too fat bellies.
Until next time!
-Binh Vuong '14
For more photos of our adventures check out our facebook album!