Sunday, July 4, 2010

Flashback Scenes from the Journey

Hey Reeders!

I apologize for the lapse in communication here. I have been in the middle of traveling, and have now settled in Astoria, Oregon, sitting in a familiar chair in a familiar lab with a fresh set of sailing companions, prepping for the sail in 2 days. The adventure started three days and 3000 miles ago, however, so lets do a dramatic flashback.

*cue wavy fade out 70's effects and harp music***

July 1st:
Scene: Charles, Adrienne and I are at the lab getting ready to get in the taxi to the airport around noon.

Geoff: "Charles, you have your passport and your papers to travel?" (He is Swiss)
Charles: "Yes, I have everything I need."
Adrienne looks a little nervous...
Geoff: "You're all set too, right?"
Adrienne: "I didn't think we needed a passport..."
Geoff: "Alright, first stop Adrienne's house."

Cue comical scene in taxi realizing Adrienne doesn't have keys since she shares them with roommate, unsuccessful calls to try and get said keys, and a drive to the Somerville Apt.

Scene- Adrienne and Geoff at the apartment, looking with mixed amusement and trepidation at the second floor balcony.
Adrienne: "Well if you put your foot there on the railing and then climb up and reach out over the gutter and grab the gaurdrail, you should be able to pull yourself up and over the balcony ."
Geoff: "uh....yeah. Hold these. You owe me."

Cue B&E, triumphant passport retrival, and airport reunion with the rest of the group. Flight is uneventful, but stopover scene in san fran proves exciting.

**End plot treatment, begin summary for expediency **

Two people were requested to reliquish their seats on the leg from SF to Portland, so Melissa and I grudgingly ran to the counter and dutifully helped strangers, completely out of the goodness of our hearts, by sacrificing our evening for a free evening at the Crown Plaza in SF, with not so much as anything more than 400 dollars of free travel tickets and a meal voucher. It was difficult to be so magnanimous, but we were barely able to distract ourselves from such misfortune by heading to a snazzy cocktail bar with Melissa's friends in the Mission district and ordering a few delicious drinks to honor the patrons who we so selflessly let go to Portland in our stead. (read with minor sarcasm).

July 2: Woke up, took a quick dip in the hot tub (still out of the goodness of my heart, of course), and then flew up to portland, meeting the crew at the hotel downtown. After a bit of equipment check and collection, a few of us headed to the bluesfest by the river. Despite some rain, there were some really good bands and it was a great time, all for charity - a local Oregon Food Bank! After rockin out, we headed to a delicious Hawaiian restaurant, meeting Beth! from last year's cruise who is working with another group out here, and then to a funky brewpub called the Lucky Labrador for a couple beers. I was pretty beat, so I was in bed before 11 that night.

July 3: Got on the road by about 8am, to get to Astoria by the rental car return time of noon. It started out pretty standard, with socked-in clouds and quite a cool breeze. But, by the afternoon, it was downright sunny and pretty warm! Over 70, which for Astoria at any time of the year is impressive. We got on board the ship, met some new crew, reunited with some friends of cruises past, and started the job of unloading the ship. I'll spend some time in later blogs talking about the science and the set up for our lab members, but for now I'll explain that my set up will be very similar to last year's so I've spent most of the last day rebuilding from pictures taken last year. We had a brief lab meeting on the bow and some good cafe at my favorite joint in the world - Kick Ass Koffee - and the went to (alas!) a seafood place for dinner. There were a few dozen clams, mussels, crabs and a chicken at the table. It was great food though, and we all left in a near coma. Charles and I worked on the ship for a bit after that, and everyone else went to bed. We joined them by midnight.

Happy America the 4th day!: We started the morning at a delicious breakfast place called the pig and pancake, and then got back to work on the labs. I'm about 60% set up now, and Adrienne's been a big help with the system. The rest of the gals are up setting up their van on the upper deck, Charles is working on the Mass Spec, and Pete is flitting about meeting with the other groups and helping us out. I'm glad to find the meals on the ship are as awesome as last year, as our lunch included pork potstickers, pesto ravoli, lentil soup, and chicken spring rolls. YUM. Anyways, back to the unpackeroo. My next update will include our 4th of july antics, and some photos of the funness and workness out here.

Ciao 4 now,
Teflon Geoff

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