Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Good weekend

We had a good couple of days on Saturday and Sunday, with glorious weather and a couple of enthusiastic groups of TAG-alongs. Saturday saw 2 bluefin tagged. On Sunday, we saw some more diversity in the catch, getting a good yellowfin bite in the morning, one little tunny, one skipjack and 4 bluefin tuna. The tagging operations were smooth as silk as the tagging team is really gellin' like Magellan these days. Or something like that. I don't know, I'm tired. Off to bed for me as we're fishing tomorrow. It should be another nice day on the water before a few more days of blow. Stay tuned...

Monday, March 22, 2010

...and we're back!

After a few days away from the coast, Robbie and I headed back to Hatteras for some more tagging. We got to the coast on Friday, a beautiful warm day that made for a pleasant drive from Durham. While in Durham, we caught the first round match up between UNC and William and Mary in the first round of the NIT and Robbie watched the semi finals and final game of the ACC tournament. Robbie and I also had the chance to watch our two respective alma maters play their first round games in the NCAA tournament. Cornell dominated Temple to advance to the second round, showing some solid fundamental basketball. Texas, not so much.

We also stopped by the statue of Knut Schmidt-Nielsen on the Duke campus for a quick photo-op. Knut is my academic grandparent (my advisor's advisor). Not many scientists get statues erected in their honor, which speaks to the incredible influence Knut had and still has on the field of comparative physiology.

We'll get some fishing pictures loaded up shortly...

Monday, March 15, 2010

One last day before the storm

We didn't think we would make it out on Thursday as the weather report was calling for some high wind and seas. The front ended up coming in later than forecast, so we ended up making it out on the water for another day of fishing. The day turned out to be beautiful - sunny and warm with small seas. The bite was never wide open, but we had three double headers throughout the day. We ended up with 7 fish archival tagged by the time we pulled in lines at the end of the day. We were sad that it was the last day Heather was going to be fishing with us before heading back to California. Right now the team is dispersed as we wait out the high winds for the next few days. It looks like Thursday and Friday might be fishable again. Hopefully the fish will be right where we left them and we can continue the tagging where we left off. Stay tuned...

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Tuna, tuna, tuna...

Another great day on the water. Not as much variety as yesterday as we didn't interact with turtles or little feathered friends, but we did have more tuna...which is nice. We ended the day with 6 bluefin tagged with archival tags and one with a conventional tag. The crew is really getting into the swing of things and the tagging process has been getting smoother nd smoother with each fish tagged. The weather looks a little rough for the next few days, so we may be off the water for a bit, but we'll be back and ready for action as soon as the weather clears. I realized that we didn't post any pictures of tuna yesterday, so everyone gets a double dose of tuna pictures today. Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Tag A Giant: Friend to all creatures

Well, we didn't get to many tunas tagged today, but we had a great day on the water nonetheless. We started out the morning by releasing four rehabilitated sea turtles into the Gulf Stream. They seemed happy to get out of the cold morning air and into the 74 degree water. The bite was a bit slower this morning and we ended up with one fish of about 170 pounds tagged with an archival tag and four smaller bluefin tagged with conventional tags. We also saw spotted dolphins, a couple of hammerhead sharks and some turtles swimming along the edge of the Gulf stream. One of the highlights of the day was when we were joined by a little feathered friend who hung out with the boat for the better part of the day (extra bonus points to anyone that can identify him from the attached picture). We offered him bread and water and Heather made him a birdbath from a container of wasabi peas. After a bite and a bath, he was on his way to greener pastures, but not before buzzing the tower in a show of thanks to his new found friends aboard the Sensation.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Another great day in Hatteras

OK, so we're a day late on the pictures so everyone gets to enjoy photos from yesterday while we give an update from today. We started out the day with a pair of humpback whales that greeted us as we departed Hatteras Inlet. The morning started off well and we got into the fish again early. The fish were particularly feisty today but the team was ready to go after knocking the rust off on the first day. We ended the day with 7 archival tags and two conventional tags deployed. The fish were all in the range of 170-220 pounds, similar to the fish we saw yesterday. There is a good body of fish off Hatteras right now and the weather should be good for the next couple of days so, with a little luck, we should be able to tag a number of fish this coming week. Wish us luck and stay tuned...

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Epic Day in NC...

Tag a Giant is back in Hatteras, North Carolina and the fishing harkens back to days of yore. Captain Dale Britt led an experienced crew to the Gulf Stream. The steam rising off the water showed the 30 degree temperature break and lures hit the water by 6:30. By 10:00 the team had 9 fish tagged and we weren't done yet. By the end of the day 12 archival tags had been deployed in addition to two conventional tags. It was a beautiful day on the water.