The crew set out for our last day of work around Santa Cruz Island with hopes of completing our final four trawls. The marine layer lifted to reveal a beautiful windy but sunny day. We worked up the first trawl in record time and moved on to the deepest trawl of the whole trip. At 460m with deeeeeep continental slopes, this site turned out to be the most challenging. The bottom-trawling net kept rolling on itself then one of the wooden boards of the net broke off (confused? ME TOO). It took us three times to bring up substantial animals (catsharks, look them up please!). With plenty of cable to let down and haul back up, we snuck in the last film from the Austin Powers series and chowed down on some scrumptious cheeseburgers. The third and fourth trawls went by easily since the whole crew had grown to be extremely adept and very efficient at the end (I’m putting "Able to sort urchins and fishes during extreme wavy conditions on a boat" on my resume from now on). The crew decorated a styrofoam cup then let it go down to 366m with the last trawl. The effect of water pressure at such depth was mind-blowing (see before and after picture of the foam cup).
To celebrate the completion of their 7-day journey, the crew took some cute selfies intensified by Ben’s shining smile. We are docking in Santa Barbara harbor tonight, showering, getting dinner then setting course for a 12-hour boat ride back home to SCMI, Redondo Beach.
Well, I’m crying salt-water tears as I finish this blog. Thank you my beloved readers for following and reading the blog. We dearly hope this inspires you to appreciate the ocean and realize the pivotal significance of protecting it. The group will go out again in August, trawling completely different sites! Only Mother Ocean knows what surprises she will bring to us (if you are reading this Mother Ocean please give us mermaids and the Kraken next time).
Until next time!
-Binh Vuong '14, Dana Michels '16 and Sam Akiyama '15
For more photos of the trip, check out our facebook album!