Hello from Kodiak! As I write we are headed out to sea and I am trying to write this before we get out of range. We had our usual hectic 24 hours of prepping for the cruise (including fighting a faulty propane valve on the forklift, shifting our schedule to accommodate the high tide we require to load the boat, and discovering that our skiff’s fuel tank had gone missing- good thing we have spares of almost everything!). After all the running around it feels really good to leave town behind, take a bit of a breather, and then be free to turn our thoughts to what we’re out here for- the rich world of scientific discovery!
We head first for Kiliuda Bay, south of the town of Kodiak. We’ll spend 4 days there. Kiliuda is a very interesting place and always full of life- everything from herring to Dungeness crabs, including of course some of the young Pacific cod and Pollock that are a focus of the study. There are also bears, which adds excitement to our beach seining work. From there we head north. A new addition to this cruise is that we will be collecting some samples for a collaborator who is studying stable isotope patterns in glacial bays (stable isotopes are a sort of natural marker that can be used to determine the source of nutrients and other organic materials). Kiliuda Bay has no glacial influence whatsoever, so it will provide an illuminating comparison to the work done in glacier-influenced waters (we hope). I’m down to one bar AND I smell dinner so I will sign off.