Archive for April 24th, 2009

Following up on the mystery 'clanging' in Haro Strait

Mitchell Bay to Griffin Bay

After a hearty breakfast of chocolate chip pancakes thanks to Hilary we had an early start from Mitchell Bay out into Haro Strait.
As we headed south in Haro Strait we ended up with a decent breeze from the SE which we took advantage of for some nice sailing.
We practiced tacks, chicken jibes and a hove to. The hove to was performed in between Discovery Island and Beaumont Shoals, the area we thought was the potential source of the mysterious clanging on the hydrophones at Lime Kiln and Orca Sound.  Although we listened for 15 minutes we heard no clanging, but did hear the numerous container ships passing by. There was not a lot of wind and we were at slack low tide, so it may not have been the appropriate conditions needed to generate the mysterious clanging.
The breeze died down in the afternoon, but we did manage to ride what wind was available and the currents towards the south end of San Juan Island and into Cattle Pass.
We got to experience Cattle Pass on a raging flood. As we were sucked north by the current we managed to see 16 Stellar sea lions hauled out on Whale Rocks as well as cormorant nests on Goose Island.
Rounding the bend Captain Mike showed us how to anchor off the shore of American Camp in Griffin Bay where we worked on our localization exercise using the software Ishmael.

Altogether a sunny, breezey and pleasant day.

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More transients and localization

Prevost Harbor to Mitchell Bay
At 09:30 hours Val did a lecture on localization.  Right after the lecture we did an exercise on localization involving the ‘clangs’ at the OrcaSound and Lime Kiln hydorphone’s (there are some msyterious clanging/clinking sounds that have been heard intermitently on the hydrophones this winter/spring).  Our results indicated that the hyperbola leads to Discovery Island / Beaumont Shoals.  This is just an estimate from where the sound source may be.
Then at 13:25 hours we had an encounter with three transients whales.  We have IDed them as T10,T10B, and T10C.  We first saw them at Mandarte Is. and they were traveling northwest.  Then at 1400 hours they switched direction and started heading north towards Stuart Island.  Then entire time they were traveling.  We also found traces of whale poo!  It was another interesting encounter with the Transients.  It was a surprise encounter as well because they just popped out of the water and shocked us all!  Finally at 16:20 hours we did the localization exercise with the array and our sound source on the dinghy.  The position of the exercise was at N 98 degrees 34.902 W 23 degrees 11.881.
The data was uploaded to the Beam Reach computer and will be analyzed at a later date.

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Update on Science blogs from the Gato Verde

During this first week of our time aboard the Gato Verde we have been getting accustomed to life aboard, running the boat systems and working with our research methods and equipment. As part of doing our research we are getting in the habit of taking notes about where we have been and what we have done so that we have a log to go back to in the future as we start analyzing our data. In order to have a backup of that data and to share our daily experiences with you, we have been posting those science logs as blogs. To make it easier I have been uploading them as we have internet connection, but the reality is that we have all been taking turns writing the science log. So although it shows my name on the blog, in reality it is usually one of the students who have written the daily log. So that you know who wrote each log we will put their initials at the end of the blog.

We hope you enjoy following along with the research experience!

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