Day 20 - Packing up
27 February 2011
The research team and ship's crew gather for a group picture.......
Day 19 - Young Bahamian Marine Scientists
26 February 2011
Alana Sherman shows the ROV Phantom to the students.......
Day 18 - Arriving Freeport
25 February 2011
Captain Bernd Buchner and a Bahamian pilot guide Lone Ranger into port.......
Day 17 - Preliminary findings
24 February 2011
Lone Ranger sails west toward Freeport, Grand Bahama......
Day 16 - Phantom continues operations in the Sargasso Sea
23 February 2011
A mystery fish swims between two patches of Sargassum....
Day 15 - Phantom dives into the Sargasso Sea
22 February 2011
ROV Phantom dove into the Sargasso Sea today and gave researchers a different perspective of the Sargassum seaweed community...
Day 14 - Species changes from north to south
21 February 2011
Today we collected more Sargassum samples for this final location, Station 6. A large, three-meter swell rolled under the boat and could be seen far away as bumps on the normally straight horizon...
Day 13 - Seaweed surprises
20 February 2011
This morning we retrieved the baited camera system from 5,000 meters deep where it had sat on the seafloor for 40 hours. Jeff Drazen and John Yeh were anxious to see the pictures from the camera...
Day 12 - Sargasso Deep-Sea Observatory
19 February 2011
The rising sun warmed wispy clouds that promised a clear day for science, the calmest weather we’ve had for the entire trip. The top priority for the day was deploying the Sargasso Deep-Sea Observatory....
Day 11 - Deep-sea observatory preparations
18 February 2011
We arrived at our southernmost station this morning and began a long list of science activities. First we deployed the baited camera system, this time with a new twist: Sargassum seaweed as the bait...
Day 10 - Searching for Sargassum
17 February 2011
Early this morning the ship was positioned where the baited camera had been deployed two days ago. Jeff Drazen and John Yeh sent acoustic commands to release the system from its weighted anchor at the seafloo...
Day Nine - Searching for Sargassum
16 February 2011
Through the night the ship travelled away from Station 5 to an area 130 kilometers northwest in search of larger aggregations of Sargassum. So far we’ve only encountered smaller bits and pieces of the seaweed...
Day Eight - Processing Sargassum samples
15 February 2011
At each science station along our path across the Sargasso Sea, the science team has been using fine mesh nets to collect clumps of Sargassum seaweed and the associated community of plants and animals that live around, inside, and under the floating seaweed habitat...
Day Seven - Denizens of the deep
14 February 2011
Sunshine greeted the ship this morning, infusing the day with optimism for the science ahead. It was my lucky day to be the scientist collector netting Sargassum from the small inflatable boat...
Day Six - Wet and wild at Station 3
13 February 2011
The Lone Ranger sailed through the night to the next science station, about 280 kilometers (170 miles) southwest of Bermuda. Rough weather continued to be a challenge for our work...
Day Five - Juvenile fish take refuge
12 February 2011
Yesterday we found a juvenile fish in our Sargassum seaweed samples. The small fish, about four centimeters long, had mottled coloration of browns and spots that perfectly camouflaged it in the seaweed. When the scientists identified the fish as a type of sea chub...
Day Four - Small boat operations
11 February 2011
By mid-afternoon the seas had calmed enough that Captain Bernd gave his permission to launch one of the small boats to help the collection efforts. Jeff went out on the boat with Chief Mate Sergiy and Deckhand Kyrylo. They motored away from the ship and successfully collected several samples.
Day Three - Sargassum
10 February 2011
I looked out the window and saw some small pieces of Sargassum floating by. We were in luck! The scientists and crew grabbed nets and began dipping clumps out of the ocean. Judit extracts a crab that was collected in Sargassum for genetic studies.
Day Two - Water sampling on rough seas
9 February 2011
After rolling through the night with winds howling, we woke to slightly better weather conditions that allowed us to move forward on getting instruments in the ocean for science. Everyone was excited to start collecting data for their studies...
Day One - Leaving Bermuda to first station
8 February 2011
At last, we finished preparations for setting sail. Before we left the dock, the scientists and crew gathered for a "science at sea" lecture...
7 February 2011
Today we waited in anticipation for the delivery of the remaining supplies needed to ensure the success of the cruise. With the crew's determination and lots of logistical support, the equipment and supplies were organized for tomorrow’s departure...
6 February 2011
Various factors have delayed our departure for a couple of days. Fortunately, even while at port there's always interesting wildlife to watch around the hull of a ship...
5 February 2011
While the science team sets up their equipment on the Lone Ranger in preparation for the cruise, a team of scientists from the U.S. Canada, Japan, and Europe is working to provide a bird's-eye view of the planned cruise track.