Tuesday, November 15

But I Regress

I've gotten a little ahead of myself by writing about the engagement before I posted about the cruise, even though they actually happened in reverse order. Can you blame me? But the cruise was pretty cool, so I wanted to be sure and give a quick synopsis:

On October 16 we set sail from Seattle in the Thompson (really, how many times can I link that ship?) The plan was to cruise down the west coast to San Diego, conducting habitat, bathymetry, fish and invertebrate surveys at different sites along the way. It was my first time on a boat that big, and I was pretty damn impressed. Lots of room for research and even a little recreation: the ship has a ping pong table, movie room, and library.

More impressive than the ship were the scientists aboard. Lots of brilliant people from UW, MIT, Oregon State, and NOAA. And not only were they great scientists, but they were also a lot of fun. Everyone was friendly and upbeat - even when we hit the inevitable bumps in the road that come with field work.

The science crew

I'll try not to go into too much boring detail, but we used some very cool technology to conduct surveys. And everything had an acronym. It's just not official unless it's all caps. Right?

Here's the CTD, which stands for Conductivity, Temperature, and Depth. It's a tool that measures, well... conductivity, temperature, and depth.


Here's the AUV, which stands for Autonomous Underwater Vehicle. It's basically a robot that can be programmed with "missions." For instance, you can program it to swim ashore and grab some fresh veggies and meat that's not made of ham. OK, not really, but wouldn't that be nice? What it does do is descend to the bottom and take pictures of the seafloor and any marine life that happens to be around.

Deploying the AUV.

The beauty of the AUV is that once it's deployed, it is not attached to the ship by any cables. So you drop it overboard and then it does it's thing while you go do important scientific stuff, like playing Monopoly or watch the sunset.

Hard at work

While I was on the cruise I missed Tom terribly and it's awfully good to be back home, but it was a huge learning opportunity for me, and I'm glad I could go.

One final picture to leave you with - the directions for donning a survival suit:

I don't know about you, but I find that telling someone to just relax usually has the opposite effect...



At 4:44 PM, Anonymous Anita said...

Sounds like it was a cool trip! It's me Anita :), looking for a way to email ya. I didn't see an email addy on your site. Am I blind? :( I just now found your first comment. How cool! Thanks again for posting a second time. I totally didn't see it until just now. How about you email me? anibow@diaryland.com :) Or send me yours. Either way totally looking forward to talking with ya. Have fun in Edmonds this weekend. I'll be down south in Oregon with Zac and his parents:). Cheers!


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