14 February 2011
It's Valentine's Day, and I must admit the holiday has been pretty much ignored on our oceanographic research vessel. Before our first core, I greeted the crew, Captain and scientists on deck by saying a big "Happy Valentine's Day", and everyone had a good laugh. But, hugs and kisses certainly were not exchanged. In fact if anything, the verbal teasing may have become a bit more intense...that's our fun while we work all day. Although going to see might seem romantic (e.g., the Titanic movie), the charm is somewhat lost when you are working long hours on a steel, industrial ship and typically with a greater number of men. To make the time pass, we all spend lots of time jabbing at other about everything. Sometimes it can get a bit harsh, but ultimately everyone knows, we are just trying to make fun during a long, hard work day.
Anyway, today we did more coring. The highlights of the day were the fabulous weather, the bountiful fishing (during our transits between coring sites) and the active ocean wildlife (dolphins, birds, fish). Around lunch time, the seas were teaming with life; a large pod of dolphins visited and fish schools surfaced underneath flocks of birds. We were fortunate to catch a few albacore tuna (~2.5 ft long) and some kingfish, but the latter had to be thrown back. Tonight we had some fresh sashimi, in addition to a great meal by Carol; it was great. All in all it was a fun day. I'm sure most of us would have rather been at home with loved ones, but nevertheless, it was enjoyable to have such a good shipboard family to share the day with.
Tomorrow is our last day working in the study area. We will head home in the evening. Sounds like it might be a rough trip because a southerly is developing!