Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Jeff saves the day

Day 2: 1/22/08
Our noon position: Longitude: 2024.570 N, Latitude: 15813.145 W

Continuing on our westward course. Steady winds have been propelling us along at 6-10 knots – a fair clip for those unaccustomed to thinking in nautical terms. Weather conditions should remain constant for a few more days, 4-5 foot waves, gently heaving swells dotted with whitecaps, warm, sunny skies.
Though today held relatively little in the way of debris – winds were still too powerful to sample - it was far from uneventful. Beginning with our Sashimi catch for the day…We hooked a sizable bull Mahi Mahi that took considerable patience, 4 crew members, and serious muscle to reel in. Having never seen Mahi Mahi outside of a restaurant, I was struck by its beauty - bright iridescent emerald-yellow, with a flat, bull-shaped head.
Upon finally hauling it on deck, we noticed a perfect bite mark, tell tale signs of a cookie cutter shark. Perhaps we hooked his dinner right from his mouth…..

Ship happenings
Boats require constant maintenance, as all boat owners know. Today was no exception. Faulty welding back in Hilo had burned a hole in our hull, into which a steady stream of water was trickling. “This could be a problem” is not a phrase one hopes to hear from the Captain….
Fortunately, our nimble boat monkey Jeff was able to fix the problem, squeezing into an uncomfortably tight space, and patching the hole with epoxy glue. Many high fives and relieved smiles were thrown his way. Kudos!

Lessons Learned
Though we may not have had direct encounters today with marine debris, the lessons drawn from today’s main events – catching a fish, and dealing with boat repairs, can be applied metaphorically to larger issues.

The Mahi Mahi was a reminder that we depend entirely on the natural world for our food, our sustenance, and our survival. The ocean appears limitless, yet as we will see in a few days, our human impact travels far and wide;
And the boat repairs reminded us that everything requires maintenance - our bodies, our vehicles, and most importantly, our ecosystems. If we want to continue coexisting on this planet, we need to begin treating it with the care we often reserve for prized personal possessions.
Tomorrow, we'll provide some more background on what we plan to study in the Gyre. In the meantime:
Aloha from the Captain and the Crew of ORV Alguita.


lcander said...

Hello from land-locked Indiana. I am Joel's mother and am extremely interested in your project. I teach high school biology and will have my students keep up with your blog. Stay safe!

ORV Alguita said...

Dear Joel's Mom,
Great I am glad your students will be following along! If you contact me by email;

or go to;
You can officially sign your class up and join the other school groups!!!
Thank you so much for having such a wonderful son!!!!
Holly Gray
ORV Alguita Support Coordinator

Sr. Chief said...

Way to go Jeff! That's my boy! Is there any thing else I can say or do to embarrass you? Thanks for providing the "posit". I am trying to put together a digital chart that will show your entire voyage track.

Jeff's Dad

weeber said...

woo hoo, go go crew! that fish looks yummy.

Nicole said...

Where was the leak? Hopefully not our of the port lazz. I checked that compartment after our shakedown and there was no water being taken in. Good job to the nimble boat monkey.

Hello to everyone! Just spoke to Charlie, heard the boys were making risotto...sounds like you guys will be eating better that most of us here on land.

So Cal is cold and rainy, it has been snowing in the high desert.

Miss you all!


Auntie Sherry said...

Dear Jeff,
Do they know you were born on a boat. Of course you can fix a little leak. I keep wondering what the temperature is as you sleep on deck. We have so much snow that there is no place to push it and it was -4°F last night. Aloha, Auntie Sherry