Anticipating departure

There was not much that went on during this week, despite the lectures, advisory meetings, and work time.  It was a week of work, to prepare for the following week which would be our first week in this program out at sea!

We refined majority of our methods this week and figured out any group data that we would be able to collect to ease the process.  We had talks about food consumption and how we can manage what we eat.  I learned that being a meat eater that does not eat responsibly makes a huge impact, such as global warming, to our atmosphere.  Localization of killer whales: now that lecture completely boggled my mind.  Technology is so advanced these days that computers can estimate where a whale is located from a call produced.  Vessel regulations were also gone over in our group discussion, regarding the conservation of southern resident killer whales.  Logistically, this week has been a less stressful one, but there was a lot more information to take in compared to last week’s Steller sea lion incident.

But, I cannot contain my excitement about sailing out of the labs.  It will be a memorable experience to be able to go on a boat to conduct research.  This first week, since the southern resident killer whales will not come up quite yet, we will be learning how to sail.  We did hear some transient killer whales off of the Port Townsend hydrophone network however, so I am anticipating on catching some with my eyes out there.  Sailing has so many components that I have barely touched, since I come from living in a large city.  Boat terms, ocean currents, knots, and other materials will be taught to us.  I feel as though this sailing week will be a good one though, since it is a chance for us to bond in a smaller environment as a group.  We get to work together, socialize, cook and clean together.  That way, we all get to know each other better on a personal level and help each other when needed.

From what I have heard, the Gato Verde, the boat we will be boarding and sailing on, is a 42 foot long catamaran equipped with loads of bunkbeds, bathrooms, a galley, and decks for us to go out and observe nature.  With such a large boat and so few of us, I will find all the upcoming sailing weeks a pleasure!  Similar to what we did on Wednesday cooking granola together at S1, I feel we’ll have so much fun!

Lastly, before I end this blog, I just wanted to mention our Cold Plunge tradition of Beam Reach.  Every year, Beam Reach will require all students to jump into the waters by the dock to experience how cold the water actually is in the Pacific Northwest.  Instructors follow along as well, and other students not in Beam Reach are always welcome to join.  We had some students from the 3 Seas program join us this year and it was really fun.  I finally got to experience the cold waters myself and I have got to say, when people say its cold, IT IS COLD.

Nonetheless, I was awake for the rest of the day.  You should definitely try it out.

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