DAY 1: Monday, August 11th, 2003
On Sunday I went down to the ship to commandeer a bottom bunk. You do this by stowing some of your gear on it. Good thing I did because the scientist from Canada was originally assigned to my room but she also wanted a bottom bunk. Plus, she also arrived on Sunday so staking out my territory was a good idea. For a bunkmate I got a grad student (Colleen) who is young and quite able to climb in and out of the top bunk. Plus, I get up more in the night.
I was told to be on board at 7:30 am for a 9:00 am departure. Many people didn't arrive until after that, though. Plus, the ship never left until 9:30 am. It was quite rough coming out of the Bay as a result of a strong Southwest breeze. As we left the Bay to enter Rhode Island Sound a safety meeting for scientists was held. It was run by the First Mate, a veritable safety Nazi. He made us watch a 20 minute, very boring, safety video. At this point a few people were starting to get seasick as we were in the Mess area. One grad student had to go sit on the deck. The boat is air-conditioned but when you are seasick fresh air is a good thing.
It was now lunchtime. We were blessed with a gourmet chef. After lunch we had the pleasure-NOT- of donning a survival suit, AKA Gumby Suit. I hate putting these things on but if it means living I'll deal. Then more safety lectures and a communication lecture. I can get and send e-mail as sci6. We have a $25 allowance and after that we pay for it. Plus, we can use the ships cell phone for a price. So, I can reach out and touch someone if need be.
Next came a scientist meeting. My bunkmate and I volunteered to work with the scientist from Canada, Nancy. She is from the Canadian National Resource Center from Halifax. She is studying toxins in dinoflagellates.
By now I was getting antsy as we were across Buzzard's Bay and entering Cape Cod Canal. I wanted to experience the canal so I snuck out after one of the real scientists-Greg. The homes along the canal are phenomenal. It takes about an hour to go transit the canal. From there we crossed Cape Cod Bay and passed by Race Point, the tip of Provincetown. Now, it was suppertime.
We saw a blow from a whale this evening as we were reading on the aft deck. We are rocking and rolling again as we transit the Gulf of Maine. I went to bed at 10:30pm. It was a tad rough sleeping as I am used to sleeping on my side. With the back and forth motion I kept going front to back. I finally sidled up to a wall to eliminate some motion. The good news is that it is cool in the room plus, we have a "head" and a shower in it. Good for the elderly like me!! The principal players that I will be referring to: Bob Campbell-Chief Scientist at GSO, Greg T.-scientist from Maine that is doing research with Bob, Ted Durbin-GSO scientist and also an advisor for grad students, Maria Cassos-Ted's wife and GSO scientist, Nancy-scientist from Halifax, and Colleen-bunkmate and grad student.