NOAA Teacher at Sea
Onboard NOAA Ship David Starr Jordan
August 1 – 20, 2005
Mission: Cetacean Abundance Survey
Geographical Area: U.S. West Coast
Date: August 2, 2005
Science and Technology Log
Due to a backlog of scheduled repairs, the JORDAN did not depart from its homeport, San Diego on July 30th as scheduled. On Monday August 1st, the ship headed into San Diego Bay so that adjustments could be made to its acoustic backscatter (somewhat like an echo sounder). While this was being done, cruise members not trained in small-boat operations were given a brief training. After which, the Zodiacs were lowered into the bay and we spent part of the afternoon putting our training to use zipping around the bay. Anchors were hoisted and the JORDAN left the bay about 5:00 p.m. Sightings since we left San Diego include the following: bottle nose dolphins, Risso’s dolphins, short beaked common dolphins (which surrounded the boat by the 100s), two separate blue whale sightings, two separate sperm whale sightings (multiple animals each sighting),and a fin whale. Small boats were launched for the first blue whale and sperm whale sightings, and this allowed for photo identification and biopsies. The two bird identifiers on board were thrilled to spot and photograph a Hornsby’s storm petrel. This is the only documented North American sighting.