August 2004
Alex on TV
Dolphins cavort off the side of the ship.

photo C. Marquette, WHOI
Cruise - 2004 - R/V Cape Henlopen

Dispatch 03 - 8 August 2004
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Summer Breeze
by Glen Gawarkiewicz

Today we have had beautiful weather and calm seas. After departing Cape Charles early Sunday afternoon, we arrived late Sunday night and began towing the Scanfish. Seas were moderating, and by this morning, were calm. As a result, we have had very good conditions for observing marine life.

Among the sightings today were a Cuvier's beaked whale, numerous bottlenose dolphins, ocean sunfish, sharks, and a brown bag resembling a sea turtle. Our observers, Erin, Caroline, and Lesley, have been busy recording the sightings, which have predominantly been offshore, at the shelfbreak and beyond.

OS200 in the rain
Lesley Thorne keeps an eye out for dolphins and other charismatic megafauna.

photo C. A. Linder, WHOI

A particularly interesting feature today was a patch of low salinity (27 Practical Salinity Units, or parts per thousand) surface water, presumably hurricane-related outflow from Chesapeake Bay. Our survey today crossed the northern edge of the Gulf Stream, where the beaked whale was sighted. A thin layer of low salinity water also appeared over the Gulf Stream, which was not present last week.

In shipboard life, today Frank Bahr took one of his customary seawater showers, using a bucket over the side. This is the modern equivalent of swim call. And on the bridge tonight, keen interest is being shown in Jimmy Warrington's sudden conversion to vegetarianism. Many are professing doubts as to how long this will last.