Anchors aweigh! Today, we set sail from the Naval Station in Newport, Rhode Island and spent the day getting acquainted with the guidelines aboard the NOAA research vessel Henry B. Bigelow–and adjusting to seasickness.

There is a lot of talk about what people are most excited about for this cruise. The words “unique” and “historic” came up more than once, particularly in regards to the fact that this cruise is combining both biology and engineering.

The big task at hand today was to set up the gear the researchers need to sample the twilight zone. For the midwater trawl, NOAA Fisheries biologist Mike Jech, Kayla Gardner (a PhD. candidate in the MIT-WHOI joint program) and WHOI research assistant Julia Cox worked with the Bigelow crew to reel in and arrange a massive net to make sure it was tied properly, then attached it to a large metal crate. The MOCNESS tow net  was an even bigger task: giant poles were laid across a frame that took up a huge portion of the deck.

— Andrea Vale, OTZ videographer