Friday, May 18, 2012

Erin Hunter's Internship, Spring 2012 - Part 4

Dear Pensacola Beach Elementary School Students,

What great questions, I am so happy you have asked me about all these things. Let's share these with other classrooms and yes I will attach a bunch of pictures from the ROV dives. Here are a few questions for you from your Kindergarten friends...
  • Did you get sea sick? (River says you have medicine!)
  • Is it fun?
  • Do the waves make you fall asleep?
  • Are there a lot of computers?
  • Can you send us more pictures from the sea floor?
  • Is the ship realllllly big?
  • Did you see a clam shell?
  • Do people get time off to go on jet skis?
  • Did you see any pearls?
  • Did you see any sharks?
  • Did you see dolphins?
  • Did you see killer whales?
So let's get started — 
Right now, the seas are rising to about 10 feet and rising so I should probably take some sea sick medicine right away. So far I have not been sick. This big ship was modified with extra features to keep it steady so the mapping could be done accurately. When we turn though-like we are right now, we rock and roll.
It is fun- if I didn't miss my family (River this means you) I would like to do this more. There are always people to talk to and plenty to do. 
Yes the waves make me sleep like a peaceful baby. That is one thing I will really miss.
COMPUTERS!!!!! all over our work spaces and then more in hidden rooms for the multibeam sonar. Computers all day- if you want to work in any science field and many others, learn how to program computers and process data. I think these tools will make work easier.
The ship to me is so big that it took me days to find my way around the six decks. The exercise room is right under the ice cream cooler room so I always feel a little guilty every time I go for ice cream and a movie instead of working out. Also, 43 people can bunk on the ship. We have private bathrooms, a laundry room, two lounges a large mess hall (dining room), many labs and more. I will send some pictures of ship stuff next week.

Benthothuria.
Deep sea crab.
Deep sea ice worms.

I saw a clam shell on the underwater footage. It had pretty little hairs protruding from its valve.
As far as pearls go, well there is a wooden ship wreck that was explored on the last leg. There was a pearl trade at one time from the West Indies, so maybe there are pearls waiting to be found.
I wish we could jet ski but we have to stay on the ship. The crew took a small boat off the ship and went diving in the Keys.
Sharks- well apparently that is the reason we are not supposed to swim.
We have only seen dolphins, flying fish and floating algae called Sargassum.

Shipwreck.
Salt volcanoes.
Squid.
Maybe we will see a whale or something before Norfolk. Really there is just water everywhere and when anything else is spotted like land or the other day some balloons, we get all excited. 
Enjoy the pictures and I will wee you when I return to Pensacola Beach.
Erin Hunter
P.S. We had to change our course to Norfolk, VA because the first tropical storm of the season, Alberto, is in our path. We have been feeling it all day so I am glad we are now heading southwest.
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Erin Hunter

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