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by Jamal Moss from the Northwest Explorer 

This morning we steamed 3 hours south of Juneau to Young’s Bay to test oceanographic gear and perform an acoustic calibration. This quiet bay on Admiralty Island offered the calm waters and water depth we required. The acoustic calibration involved suspending a standard calibration target (38.1 mm diameter tungsten carbide sphere) from monofilament line with downriggers. The downriggers were used to position the target at numerous locations under the boat. Calibration coefficients calculated today will increase the accuracy of relating target strength to fish of a certain species and size class. Acoustics are an important component of this project, and we will blog more about it later in the survey. The second big accomplishment today was the testing of oceanographic gear. Conducting oceanography from a chartered fishing vessel is always tricky business, but fortunately, we had Bill Floering and Eric Wisegarver, 2 oceanographic equipment gurus from the Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory (PMEL) onboard to help us out. So with their help, the electronics are up and running, the CTD is functioning, and the zooplankton nets were fished without a hitch. As always, we’ll have a few kinks to work out on the first few days of the survey, but so far so good.