Friday, June 27, 2014

Close to the end

It’s Friday and we are continuing to map out new habitat areas west of Madison-Swanson. The sea state is near calm – smooth surface with occasional wind ripples – but no air moving which means it is HOT outside. Consequently, we are a bit warn inside the lab with 8 monitors, several computers and a drying oven pumping out heat. We plan to stop mapping at 8am in the morning, pull the sonar pole up, and head to St Petersburg. 

There has been much interest by the science crew to participate in the blog – they often teamed up in pairs to work together. So today we have another student blog offering by Gipson and Blake. 

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Deadliest catch….. without the crabs (R/V WB II edition) 

Homemade fly swatter.
(Photo credit: BlakeBorgeson)
Instead of catching crabs we have been hard at work trying to kill a very tedious fly that has been loitering around the dry lab. When staring at computer screens for 4-hour periods at a time, you’d be surprised the degree of aggravation a single fly can cause. With the use of a bungee cord, a pencil and half of a roll of tape we successfully created a homemade fly swatter. “Once you start you start hunting you just can’t stop, it’s like an addiction” -Gipson. After three days of tracking the fly down and going slightly insane we have yet to find the corpse… 

In addition to the fly problem, the AC in the dry lab could use a little more pep. The dry lab is located on the port side of the boat and on top of the engine room, which results in a lot of heat from the sun and the motors. To resolve this problem we have resulted to passing around ice packs to cool off which has worked pretty well. 

While on watch we have been taking turns examining the data of the hard bottom habitats and have seen some cool data! Stan has been showing us 3D modeling of the seafloor bottom which has been very interesting! Seeing this sort of research and learning some of the programs has really broadened our view on where our geology degree can take us. 

Learning something interesting. Blake, Stan and Gipson. (Photo credit: Blake Borgeson)
Throughout the hard struggles the research cruise has been very educational and a great life experience that we once doubted before. With the calm seas, great weather and a fantastic group of ambitious research students the cruise couldn’t be going better. With good food and good people I don’t think we will pass an opportunity to go on another cruise. 

Bon voyage, 
Gipson Hawn & Blake Borgeson

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