Station 8 was completed an hour after midnight local time. They sampled the outer shelf just north of Hudson Canyon. They are now heading south toward the hotspot in the model southeast of Delaware Bay.
The plan moving forward will be to complete 6 stations in the area indicated with a red marker above. Two stations will be inshore of the shelf break in a region of poor butterfish habitat predicted by the model, one in the day and one at night. The second two stations will be in the region of preferred butterfish habitat predicted by the mode out closer to the shelf break, day and night. The final two stations will be chosen by Chris Roebuck, our captain, as a region of good butterfish habitat predicted by the model constantly running inside his head. These final two stations will also be done once during the day and once at night.
Thanks to the reliable connection we have with the ship, we are getting some great information back and forth between ship and shore. Here are a couple samples of the kind of feedback we are getting from the ship.
Here is an image that John sent us last night showing a pile of fish just after a station. The image is a little blurry to keep the file size down, but we can get a feel for the work being done on board.
Several times a day John is also sending us messages. He is giving great insight into how they are sampling and adapting to the local conditions, real-time information coming from the ship's acoustics, and the model. This is a quote from him describing the great night they had last night:
'2011-12-12 04:21:25 GMT: Beautiful sunset and fickle winds as we made our last tow at station 7 just inside the fishtail. Chris and I were talking about the acoustic signatures of fish as below the crew sorted over a thousand pounds of spiny dogfish less than a foot long. Arcs of yellow occurred throughout much of the water column in the screen of the 38 khz hydroacoustics as we set out the net and he said "Bet that's a bunch of stray dogs." As he moved away from the console of controls for the crane and winches he said "the longer the stretches of good weather like this the worse the gale you can expect." He turned, looked me straight in the eye and cackled as he moved back to the wheel to steer us toward the Hudson Canyon.'