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Beach Weekends at Sea on the EcoMon Cruise

August 29, 2019

Sunbathers on the beach, aiding a fishing boat in distress, and enjoying the marine life are all part of the summer Ecosystems Monitoring cruise.

Crew members enjoying time off on the flying bridge of the R/V Gordon Gunter.

The beach at Assateague Island National Seashore as seen from the NOAA Ship Gordon Gunter. Photo: NOAA Fisheries

You tend to lose track of what day of the week it is when you are at sea. One reminder is when you are close to the Delmarva Peninsula on a beautiful weekend. You can see sun bathers and swimmers along the beaches if the ship gets close enough. The observers were hoping for a picture of the Assateague Island wild ponies, but instead saw sun bathers. The scientists often enjoy the beach atmosphere of the ship's flying bridge between stations and when off watch. 

GU1902-common dolphin-hjw.jpg

Common dolphin alongside NOAA Ship Gordon Gunter. Photo: NOAA Fisheries

You can relax and read a book with the added bonus of the observers alerting you to marine life that comes within photo distance.


A  small recreational fishing boat (center) drifts away from the NOAA Ship Gordon Gunter after receiving some engine oil. Photo: NOAA Fisheries

We also often see a lot more boat traffic, especially around the fish havens. The command and the crew assisted a small recreational fishing boat in distress. The boat was running low on engine oil, and the ship was able to pass them some as we came alongside. The boat was able to speed to shore after filling their tank, and we were able to steam on to the next station.  It was a small gesture, but as someone who has had to be towed back to the marina, I can imagine their relief.

Harvey Walsh

Chief Scientist, GU1902

Aboard the NOAA Ship Gordon Gunter


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Last updated by Northeast Fisheries Science Center on March 31, 2023