Monday, October 18, 2010


Today was another field day.  I helped out lab mate Jeff in collecting water samples in the Neuse River.  Jeff is investigating the natal origins of striped bass in the Neuse and Pamlico Rivers using otolith microchemistry.  Today, was awesome!  Nothing went wrong (which is unusual for field work that I am involved in), the work went quickly, the water was calm, and the weather was beautiful. 

The only thing really interesting or different about today was that it was the first time that the responsibility of captaining the boat was put solely on me.  Throughout the summer I have been conducting my research in conjunction with a commercial fishermen, so I haven't needed to drive the boat myself.  I am by no means afraid or inexperienced when it comes to driving boats.  I have been driving boats for most of my life, but mostly on small lakes and it's a whole different experience driving boats in large rivers/estuaries.  Also, I find that recreational boating is way different than boating for work, when you have a specific goal, like completing research, it can be a bit stressful.  Fortunately everything went swimmingly so I will just present a short pictorial narrative of the days events.

As stated previously the day was beautiful
We launched in the Neuse River and headed upstream.  I haven't really spent anytime on the Neuse River and didn't realize how narrow and winding it could be in some places.  It kind of reminded me of the Roanoke River in some places.  Our first site was around the route 43 bridge
And we started collecting water
Using this sophisticated piece of machinery
It was a really nice location, it was nice to see some trees with leaves starting to change
From there we headed downstream to the hwy 70 bridge
This is where we had the only minor snag of the trip.  We had to wait about a half hour to go under a railroad bridge because a train was crossing at a snails pace. We took water samples and water quality data
We then headed to our next location.  The world famous Dawson's Creek
Yes this is where the TV show Dawson's Creek was supposed to have taken place, although it was not actually filmed here.  Unfortunately, we did not have any James Van Der Beek or Katie Holmes sightings, but the creek was really nice.  From the creek we headed upstream
Then downstream
And the day was done.  So although nothing really exciting happened, I can always appreciate when things go smoothly even if it doesn't necessarily make for a good story.

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