Message Bottled in an Email

Amid the dunes of a tiny island in the North Atlantic, a scientist found a sandblasted bottle with a note in it.

WHOI archivist Dave Sherman tracked down the bottle that Joyce found on Sable Island: No. 21588. It was one of 12 released from the research vessel Albatross III on April 26, 1956, at 8:30 p.m. at 42°18’6″N, 65°30’6″W, not far off Nova Scotia. Three bottles from this batch were recovered later the same year—two in Nova Scotia and one in Eastham on Cape Cod.  Given its sandblasted appearance, perhaps No. 21588 came ashore on Sable Island also in 1956, some 300 miles away from its release point, and remained buried and buffeted by dunes until now.

Text via Oceanus Magazine

How we all kill whales

Michael Moore published a wonderful essay in the ICES Journal of Marine Science this winter.  It’s definitely food for thought, and puts the debate against commercial whaling in an interesting perspective.

Image credit: Scott Landry

DeepSea Challenger

Director/Explorer/Ocean Enthusiast James Cameron brought his one-man sub, the DeepSea Challenger to WHOI today.  He broke the record for deepest dive earlier this year with it, while exploring the Marianas Trench.  He donated it to WHOI for use in ocean science research and exploration.  Straight out of the movie, Life Aquatic, James has an entourage (with official matching outfits for all the staff) and fancy vehicles.  He gave a speech at a small ceremony at Dyers Dock in Woods Hole.

June was Bowhead Whale Month

After the right whale cruise on the Gunter finished (with no more small boating days and no tags deployed), I started work on sampling bowhead whale baleen plate for stable isotope ratios.  I’m looking at how stable isotope ratios in bowhead whale baleen have changed over the last several decades, and what we can attribute those changes to (climate change, primary production rates, sea ice loss, etc).  Leah Danny (Wheaton College ‘13), a graduate of Intro to Marine Mammals and Biology of Whales, worked with me as a Guest Student at WHOI to complete the project.  Leah is pictured next to the largest bowhead whale baleen plate that we sampled, at least twice her height.  There is also a photo of a baleen plate being, by me and my trusty Subaru, transported from WHOI Shipping and Receiving to the lab – notice the baleen poking through the sun roof.

NEFSC May Cruise 2013 – Shopping, etc.

It’s Day 3 on the hook, and we’re all starting to go a little stir crazy.  There was no port call to Provincetown.  We’ve been keeping busy by working, reading, shopping (RGT gets a new shirt!!), watching movies and Arrested Development (we’re excited to stream the new season today thanks to Chris’s fancy wireless card), and – of course – playing Peanut.  Whitney and Kira are also staffing a friendship bracelet factory of 2 that rivals the production rate of a sweatshop.  They are graciously making them for everyone on the team. If nothing else, you get to see pictures today that are NOT in the blue-gray color palate.

NEFSC May Cruise 2013 – Retreating

The “bad water” is back and we’re headed for Provincetown (Cape Cod Bay) to drop the anchor and wait out the weather.  Fingers crossed that the captain gives us permission to deploy the small boats and ferry ourselves to shore.  It will be a cruel irony to sit at anchor for days, over Memorial Day weekend, while in sight of land (and establishments that serve cold beers).