Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Contingencies, Seawater, Heroes, and....Seels!

Hey Reeders!

Geoff's Back! I figured it would be more fun to tell the story through pictures this time. Enjoy!

As Mark mentioned, yesterday was my birthday! I'm 28 years young and as was pointed out, only 2 years from 30 and halfway to 56. Other than pointing out that i'm getting old, Kiana made me a reeses peanut butter cup "cake" complete with post-it note candles.
So, we got into Astoria Oregon at 7am this morning to work on the broken thruster. I had to do a lot of juggling and trimming of my experiment list to figure out how to deal with this extra down time. One major problem I had was we ran out of seawater last night to filter. No seawater! On a BOAT! crazy. We were docked in brackish river water and I needed new seawater for the worms. Sooooo.... after a bunch of calling around, we found out the best place to get clean seawater would be.....

The Seaside, Oregon Aquarium! If you ever get a chance to visit, take it. It is small, but privately run and really sweet! Tiffany, an aquarist there, was our hero of the day withher seawater hose hookup. After filling up a bunch of buckets and a carboy in our pickup truck, she gave us a behind-the-scenes tour of the facility.

And they have harbor seals! Or should i say, harbor seels. And....

We got to feed them! That's me tossing a fish to the hungry seals. They were doing various tricks and stunts to get us to feed them. There were 11 of them, most of them born there in captivity, even 3rd or 4th generation- some of them. Tiffany told us that one of their females had lived over 30 years! That's quite a long time for seals.

After Tiffany (Hero number 1) hooked us up, we headed back to the ship, with a stop demanded by Suni for more chocolate. Back at the lab, Kiana and Mark set about to try and filter the water, and we only had hand pumps. And it took, well...just shy of forever. Enter Brandon, hero number 2! He had a big filter system, and it was automated. So we got lots of fresh clean seawater for my now happy worms. There were no more sulfincola alive (T_T) so the contingency was to work with palmiformis, the other species with slightly lower tolerance.

After getting the system up and running, it was time to hit the town with the successful team. Upon recommendation by Tiffany and the gate guard, we headed over to the Fort George Brewery. Oregon has some pretty awesome breweries, including Rogue right in Astoria, but Fort George ranks pretty highly even among them. I recommend the Victory IPA. Delicious.

On the 2 mile walk back to the ship I saw this sign by the train tracks. Awesome. Note the hair toupee or something like that on the stick figure. It seemed to be speaking to Mark since he kept getting beat up by lamp posts, side view mirrors, uneven pavement, and random things that seemed to jump into his path. He may love Astoria, but it seems to be displeased with him. Anyways, we're headed to sea again tomorrow at noon to test the thruster and hopefully back to the vents. Optimistically, we might only lose 3 total dives, and still get 2 more chances to get samples. And Kiana and I might still get a chance at Alvin. :)

Smooth Sailing Deep Reeders.

1 comment:

  1. Hey Deep Seer -- and Guest Blogger -- You do tell great stories! And the pics are terrific. Look forward to the rest of the story when you call. Hugs