Aboard Centennial!

On Friday, August 10th, 2007, Friday Harbor Labs invited some of its board members and other friends to join scientists and students on a research and study outing led by Dr. Chuck Greene and Dr. John Horne. The focus of the class was bioacoustics, and an opportunity also arose to do a dredge and see what lurked on the sea floor that day.

The mighty Centennial, with (an invisible) Dennis Willows at the helm.

 

The mighty Bob Schwartzberg, more visible.

 

Chuck Green and other scientists impatiently await the jazz quartet. Oh, wait, that's Sunday at Bella Luna, not today.

 

Despite the lack of onboard musical entertainment, it was a beautiful, crystal clear day.

 

Little did the innocent creatures of the sea floor realize what was in store for them.

 

But Holly Wendt and Kevin Schofield had a pretty good idea.

 

So did this guy. Up came the dredger, proudly displayed like a prize by Centennial's own version of Vanna White.

 

And the winner is...

 

...Ker-plunk!

 

Ah, yes. Captain Willows comes over to inspect. He verifies that it does, indeed, look like...

 

Uh, well... you know.

 

Professor Grace calmly leads other far less experienced scientists over to investigate.

 

And before long, Henry Wendt and everyone else is clamoring to stick their hands in the muck.

 

And what do we find? Creatures from the deep! The ocean's version of earthworms...

 

Beautiful sea plumes...

 

Even cooler worms who coyly cover themselves with shells (part of the undersea witness protection program, no doubt)...

 

Lots of scallop shells, plus mussels, clams and jingle oysters...

 

This guy...

(Well... ok, maybe not... )

 

And yet another tube worm, poking its head out of its soft shell with a certain amount of indignity, wondering where the heck it is.

The answer: Ken Sebens' hand. Not particularly exciting, if you're a tube worm.

 

Here's a confused young spider crab, thinking the same thing and hoping that if it just clicks its claws three times and says "I want to go home, I want to go home..." everything might be okay.

 

Nope.

All our newfound watery friends were destined to end up in cheap tupperware. Undersea life is tough. Very tough.

 

And the dredger? Waiting for its next trip down to 60 fathoms!

 

Meanwhile back inside the salon, extremely sophisticated electronic equipment is picking up an unusual signal...

 

Wow! The best scientific discovery yet! Two happy new residents of Friday Harbor, who think the world of the work that's being done at the Labs!

 

Thanks for inviting us!! We had a blast.

Certainly, a better time than that confused spider crab.

 

Alex Shapiro and Charles Richardson