Weeks 7 8 & 9

So much to say and so little time! As everyone has been saying in their blogs, the realization that the end of BeamReach is setting in. We are back on solid ground, and as much as I liked living at sea, it feels good! The last three weeks on the boat have been… shall I say… eventful. Because the Gato Verde is in the process of switching to a bio-deisel electric propulsion system, there are lots of things that had the potential to go wrong, and that did go wrong. Its a super cool idea and sets a great president, however, when you are in the middle of the process it is both very cool and very frustrating. Besides the saga of the boat, between the multiple generators breaking and getting replaced, being pushed by the dinghy, maxing out at 3 knots and not being able to catch the whales, there were lots of great things this past voyage. First of all, we saw whales, lots and lots of whales! We saw some very tame dear and a mink up close and personal on Jones Island, a mike whale from the bluff on Stewart Island, some bow riding Dalls porpoise in front of Lime Kiln, and some sea lions in cattle pass. In terms of Science, we got some nice recordings, tried the dinghy / NOAA pipe test maybe 3-4 more times and finally got it right. Ishmael is still not cooperating, but in addition to the Sea Snake, we got another 4 element array, Willy. After tinkering with it a bit, and sending it off to the doctor (val) and his office (his garage), its worked wonderfully. Everyone chipped in for multiple rounds water quality testing every two hours from about 6pm to 8am. (Except for Scott and Jason who slept on the cat walk and saccrificed a lot of sleep in the name of science.) As for oter memorable events, we hiked to the lighthouse, played some basketball, got to pet some real kittys, and soak in the view from a bluff looking out on the water just before sunset on Stewart Island. We had a night passage from the west side of San Juan Island to the south end of Lopez Island, complete with bow watches, crafty navigation, walkie talkies, and night vision (not headlamps). We witnessed numerous beautiful mornings and beautiful sunsets. In fact, the Last time we saw the whales in fact was J pod heading south down the West Side wbehind them was the sun dropping behind Vancouver Island, AND to make things even better,it was Peggy’s birthday!

So now that we are back on land, its crunch time to get final papers and presentations done. Its time to enjoy the last week of island living until heading home and catching up with family and friends!


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