Monday, July 12, 2010

She's Not Heavy, She's Our Trawl

Bonnie and I have dreamed of a trawl of our very own since we first deployed one borrowed from Marcus Eriksen during a Carolina Ocean Studies cruise in April 2009. We had grand ideas of how to make one out of various materials, but those dreams went out with our plans to get a Sunfish and see what we could find.

A couple years and a whole lot of teamwork later, we are preparing for the maiden voyage of our very own trawl that I’ve nicknamed Manuela. Her frame was constructed at the Center for Marine Science at UNCW, and we owe Gerry, Jay and Dan a huge thank you for the beautiful job they did, as well as their patience for last minute adjustments the day before I left.

Weaver Canvas sewed the net and also helped with last minute tailoring so it would fit like a glove onto the trawl. I squealed into Coleman Supply at 4:55pm on Friday and between the couplings I bought and the salvaged piece of pvc and straps they gave me, we have what we need to connect the net to the codend, where the samples collect.

Manuela is a very large piece of equipment to get onto an airplane. Bonnie said if the trawl didn’t fit in the case she’d borrowed, to call Jason Andre. It didn’t fit. Jason happened to be in a surfboard factory standing next to a very large and very durable cardboard box when I called, and a plan was formed. Thanks to my husband Chris, my #1 Volunteer, the box was crafted into a nice case for Manuela and all of her parts. I can’t forget to thank my best girls Kellie and Kelly for watching my kids while I ran all around town collecting supplies.

I traveled here with Dr. Pam Seaton from UNCW and we wrestled the trawl through 2 airports, on top of a car, in a taxi and on a wheelbarrow. I was so anxious to put her together to make sure everything fit and we had all we needed. A quick trip to the hardware store today and she should be ready to go.

We may not be able to upload photos while at sea, but we'll add photos when we return.
posted by Jennifer O'Keefe

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