9 July, 2004
Today was a busy day as everyone got settled on board and received our science and ship orientation. We all had our ship tour and safety talk before the ship left the dock. As we were watching the shoreline and taking lots of pictures, we saw the crew drop the anchor. Soon after, the signal for fire on board went off, and we all proceeded to gather our life vests and warm clothing before we headed to the lounge for further instructions. Fortunately, it was only a drill based on the information we had received during our safety orientation. What a great way to reinforce what we had just learned. Once we all gathered in the lounge, the abandon ship alarm went off! We immediately proceeded to the deck where we were issued our immersion suits (check the picture to see why some call them "gumby suits"). In theory, one is supposed to put the suit on in one minute. Clearly that takes practice! However, we all got them on and happily took pictures, knowing this was only a drill. If this had been a real emergency, and people had ended up in the water, these suits would provide both buoyancy and warmth. Because it was only a drill, those who wished to do so, went swimming with the suits on. Check out the pictures to see me in my suit and some of those who went swimming after the drill.
We spent most of the afternoon getting science gear unloaded and set up. Just because the cruise is short (about two weeks) doesn't mean there is less equipment. The scientists still need to take samples and either analyze or preserve them for later work. Jackie's "crew" consists of me, Ari Balsom, Rebecca Pirtle-Levy, and Alicia Clark, all of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. We spent most of our time clearing gear and supplies out of the portable container/lab set out on the deck. We moved sediment collection gear onto the deck and much of Jackie's equipment up to the ship's lab where she will set up her respiration experiments. In the meantime, the crew opened the hold and began moving heavy equipment up on deck. After working hard for much of the afternoon, most got a break. Because we are leaving from Kodiak, it will take a couple of days to get to our first sediment station. The CTD work and zooplankton collection will take place in the meantime, and throughout the trip. I'll send pictures and descriptions in future journals.
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