Sunday, July 24, 2011

Going to Sea

Getting ready for tomorrow's boat expedition. 8 hours on the water, and Right Out Into The Ocean. This might be a map of where we will be going (the purple line),

Map of the Pelagic Seabird Survey Transect (click for larger image)

tallying pelagic birds all the way, as described in Barbara Blackie's account of the seabird study in 2006-2009.

Have to be at the NOAA office to get on the van at 6 AM tomorrow morning. With notebook at the ready, so I can scribble down whatever pearls of wisdom emerge during the drive to La Push. Will be riding with scientists and observers (and the skipper of the boat)! We sail at 8AM from La Push. Once on the boat I have an official role: 'data entry support'. Me and the other joyrider are data entry support. Liam Antrim, of the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary, is organizer and 'data entry lead'. The core of the expedition are the three observers, experienced birder people, who will call out what they see. One of them is Bob Boekleheide, Mister Knows-Every-Bird-In-An-Instant, Director the Dungeness River Audubon Center. Liam will show us how to record what they call out (I think there is a little machine we type into), and if we data support people are seasick or too easily confused he will have to do it by himself all day.

Unlike when I have been on whalewatch boats in Johnstone Strait and Queen Charlotte Strait, we will be well out of sight of land. Never did that before. Liam says "The Tatoosh is a rolly vessel, so if you are susceptible to sea sickness, please bring something to mitigate this." How do I know if I am susceptible, if I've never done this before. Picture of the Tatoosh.

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