In the 1930's the working day at the Fisheries Laboratory usually
started with a collecting trip to fish traps, or for dredging or taking
plankton samples. The small coal-burning steamer Phalarope under the
command of Capt. R. N. Veeder, was used for this purpose. Fisheries
biologists and MBL investigators interested in making a trip were
welcome. A group desiring to get aboard usually gathered by 9:00 a. m.
at the Fisheries dock. Many persons wanted to watch the dredging or
seining and were not concerned with obtaining the material. Robert A.
Goffin, collector for the Fisheries Laboratory, and two fish culturists
formed the collecting crew.
With the exception of long trips, which sometimes lasted the whole day,
the Phalarope would return about noontime early enough for the
participants to change and be ready for their luncheon, which was
served by the MBL messhall sharply at 1:30 p. m. The collecting trip
became so popular, especially when the weather was good, that the
number of passengers on board had to be restricted to conform to safety
regulations enforced by the Coast Guard. If something exciting
happened during the trip, for instance the catch of a big shark or
large moonfish, everybody would dash to one side of the vessel and
cause a dangerous list. In later years, Capt. Veeder refused to take
more than 20 persons aboard.
In addition to the material needed for research at the Fisheries and
collected by the scientists themselves or under their supervision, the
Phalarope brought live fishes for the aquarium, which was open to the
public every day of the week. The aquarium was operated by the
Superintendent of the Station with the assistance of R. A. Goffin.