Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Ddolan day 4 - shoreline observations

Day 4:  shoreline organism – Lovell’s Island

Day 4 brought us clear skies, and a hot humid day with no wind to speak of.  We departed from Courthouse Dock, onboard the Belle with Captain Charlie and mates John, (a.k.a. Quint) and Chris.  The water today did not appear as clear as it was yesterday and it was explained that the water contains Diatoms which is an algae.  These algae blooms are found all over the world on land and in the sea and there are 16,000 varieties.  When the diatoms die, they sink to the ocean floor creating a sludge layer.  They are not however a by product of any plant growth in the ocean.1

We stopped to fish off the coat of Castle Island and shortly there after we fished at a fish (man made) sanctuary off the coast of Long Island.  Fishing produces a catch of a striped bass, black sea bass, perch and mackerel.   The Striper was 30” inches and exceeded the 28” mandatory length to be a keeper.  The Striper also had some form of sea louse attached to its underside, perhaps indicating that the fish was in open water before coming into the harbor to feed. The black sea bass (BSB)is hermaphroditic fish with the entire population under 8” in length being female.The BSB we caught was dissected, if crudely, and was determined to contain both male and female sex organs.

After fishing we moved to Lovell’s island where we were able to swim and cool off from the sweltering heat.  The coastline of this island is rock, rock and more rock. The swash zone contained three high tide markers, indicated by three separate strandlines.  The large rocks or cement blocks on the beach covered in green algae appear to be the average high tide mark. The beach contained lots of manmade debris (lobster traps, machinery, plastics, etc).  When we got to the waters edge the tide appeared to be out and on its way in.  The submerged rocks were covered with a light coating of slime (or biofilm) and other organisms such as barnacles, hermit crabs, periwinkles and some sea lettuce and truncate. I stepped on a rock covered in barnacles, shredding the skin on the arch of my foot, clouding and any further observations with stinging pain.

The highlight of the day was swimming and the boat ride.    

No comments: