Sunday, July 19, 2009
UNCW Teal in Bermuda Waters
As we approached Bermuda, eyes gazed out the airplane windows awed like children at the teal blue water lapping the shores of the 22 mile island, a color foreign to the NC shores. I contrast this beauty against the thought of the ocean quickly becoming a landfill and it reinforces the purpose of my visit to the North Atlantic Gyre. Our first encounter with a Bermudian is with a very personable customs officer. She asks our purpose here and when she hears marine debris research she replies "Ahe, very, good, very good." The Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences (BIOS) compound looks like an old hotel from the turn of the 1900s – quaint and auspicious with wooden french doors and spindle railings up both sets of stairwells to the third floor. Guess how I know that! It sits about a mile from the airport separated by a turquoise blue waterway. We find the lead scientist for this cruise, Dr. Maureen Conte, working in the warehouse. Shortly after introductions, she is curious to see the design of our aluminum manta trawl fabricated by Algalita’s Dr. Marcus Erickson. She wastes no time devising a plan on how we will deploy the trawl from the Research Vessel. (RV) This type of research she has never seen before. We are all looking forward to seeing the manta floating in the open ocean Wednesday.