Written by Catalina Rubiano, Science Mentor
It was a fun and busy day today onboard the R/V Angari. We got started bright and early, leaving dock at 7 am. The day was packed with activities. The girls were split into three groups to rotate through stations that included measuring nutrients, collecting water samples using Niskin bottles, and taking water and air quality measurements. Thie girls also collected sediment, plankton, fish, and invertebrate samples.
Despite the unpleasant and very noticeable effects of the red tide on today’s cruise, everyone still managed to have a really fun time. Probably the most noteworthy part of the day was the deployment of the otter trawl! The girls provided great help and moral support as the counselors performed the slightly stressful (but exciting!) task of casting out the otter trawl. It was a great lesson for campers and counselors alike in both communication and attention to detail. Since the otter trawl is a large mass of net and rope, it took teamwork and concentration to set every line where it needed to be and to make sure every foot was in the right place – outside of the ropes!
Despite a smaller than normal catch, campers still got a glimpse at some of the beautiful creatures that live in Tampa Bay. We saw plenty of sea urchins, a few crabs, and a gorgeous little Sea Robin! Thanks to the enthusiasm of the girls, we were able to get two trawls done, and according to the crew of the Angari, it was some of the smoothest trawl deployments they have ever had!
Along with the otter trawl, some of the other noteworthy moments from today included the delicious food provided by the R/V Angari crew. We had fresh cinnamon buns on the top deck for breakfast followed by fresh grilled burgers and a homemade banana bread dessert for lunch! Delicious food, exciting science, excellent weather, and a beautiful research boat. What more could you ask for? Thanks to all of our campers, camp staff, and R/V Angari staff for a great day today!