I am greatly overdue for an update so let me lay out my week for those who are interested. Last week Austin, Iva, and I took boating II (course required for driving zodiacs) under the supervision of Neal and Gram (click their names to check out their bios). Loved it, just absolutely loved driving that boat. I took her from one boating limit to the next, a bit blinded by snow and a bit overaggressive but happy as a sheathbill on Mexican day (sheathbills, which are silly chicken-like birds that bop around station, love when Keith makes Mexican food). We practiced 'Man Overboard' drills that actually involved Gram well, flipping overboard, a few times. Dragging a cold and wet incapacitated man onto a zodiac boat is no easy task so thank you Gram and Neal for your patience.
I also spent a lot of time following Keith Reimink around the kitchen. His video involved cutting from a lot of footage and Keith was so incredibly patient, helpful, and kind throughout the whole process. Special thanks to Keith for his cooperation and for his excellent culinary mastery. I will of course post once his video makes it online.
The Gould (the ship that brought us here a little over a month ago) arrived Sunday morning bringing with it many many new faces. This whole turnover process is really a shock to the winter crew who has not seen new faces for many many months (apart from ours) as the station population doubles literally overnight. I will be receiving a roommate in a few days and although I have enjoyed the privacy of my own room, I met a few ladies last night at the bar who would make fantastic roomies. I was speaking with a girl who believe it or not actually spent a week in Fitzwilliam NH this summer frequenting Laurel Lake! An incredible coincidence, for those who don't know my parents recently moved to Fitzwilliam (a tiny itty bitty quaint town) and I have kayaked Laurel many many times. Since leaving New England post graduation I am continually surprised by how many people have roots not only in NE but just around the corner from my hometown.
The station is just BUSTLING with people and activity which comes at a sort of inconvenient time as I am scrambling to put together an application over the next few days. While the boat is here- about a week- our internet will be limited and I thus will not be able to post many pictures. Sorry in advance.
We worked through the weekend and were able to access station E both Saturday and Sunday. Station E is our sampling haven- deep and distanced from station and the harbor but frequently made inaccessible by ice. I found myself in a terrible mood yesterday morning which was quickly put to rest by some time on the boat. Waters were just unbelievably calm yet again. So calm in fact that my mom would probably kayak across which, if you know the story of Monteray Bay, is pretty damn calm. We did a few plankton tows which pretty much involves letting the net pull the boat in circles for half hour increments. I just sprawled out across the platform and watched obese snowflakes drop from the sky and disappear into the ocean (Austin wrote a beautiful poem about this). I absolutely love these trips and the solace that comes with them. If you want to check out a little video about what we actually do in the field click here and check out a video I put together a couple weeks ago titled 'First Week in the Field'.
Deneb taught Austin and I how to take cell counts so that we can make daily counts on our incubating cultures. I am close to finishing a little summary to the project that will be posted over the next few days that will help clarify what exactly I'm doing here and for what purpose. I just adore microscopes- although I'm a bit out of practice and find myself staring at my eyelashes too often- and have enjoyed peeping at the organisms we work so bloody hard to collect.
Alrighty well thanks for reading! Listening to: 'Long As I Can See the Light' CCR