Hey everyone,

We are now back on dry land and showered! I couldn’t wait to share our week with you, so here it is.

We found the whales on our first day back at sea – we must have a good luck charm on board! The poirpoises also came back with one playing around our boat while Jason went to pick up Val from the beach. It was Vals birthday and he brought cake with him – it was the first thing he made sure was safely on board when he arrived. The weather was the windiest and the sea the choppiest we have had so far so we hoisted the main sail! Which was a hilarious experience in itself – 6 students clinging to the boat while todd explained how to hoist the main sail and val jumping around with ease taking pictures – he really put us to shame! But we soon found our sea legs and took to moving around the boat with ease, sitting on the bow seat and even the trampoline (we got a bit wet!). I don’t think me, Garrett and Hana came in all day! We had wind, wonderful weather (sunshine) and whales what more could we ask for. Even though I must say trying to get good microphone recordings in the wind is hard! In the evening we anchored and got to try Val’s birthday cake and sing to him. We then headed off for walks in the woods and stretched our legs.

Tuesday couldn’t have been more of a contrast to monday – it was glassy out on the water it was so calm. We found the whales early on and were with them allday. We got some good recordings and even saw the NOAA boat tagging one of the whales, unfortunately it looked like it fell off just a short while later. They were doing lots of breaching and spy hopping too today and we saw some great feeding behaviour right next to the shore. Then we all sat down to do some journal reading – see we do do some work on this boat too – its not just fun and games i promise!

Wednesday we found the whales at 12pm and were in for a treat! They spent several hours resting and we were able to get several good recordings and then just as if an alarm had gone off they all started socialising and being really active They were breaching (at least 30), spy hopping and doing tail slaps. It was a real treat to watch!

Thursday = FUN FUN FUN! It was the perfect day for sailing. We decided it was too choppy to get recordings so we had a sailing day. It was also a great chance to break out our rain gear. Hana looked like a ninja and Garrett was just a huge orange blob. I hoisted the mainsail and was surprised at my own strength, I think I surprised everyone else too! I didn’t go inside the whole time. The best bit of the day was when me, Megan and Garrett all sat on the edge of the trampoline and were getting splashed by the waves – it was like a rollercoaster. Garrett even sat completely on the trampoline and when we hit a wave he flew (yes actually flew) in the air it was hilarious. Sailing is officially the coolest way to travel. We all had a turn at the Helm too. In the afternoon the winds got up to 30 KT which was the limit we can sail at so we headed back in to anchor. On the way back Captain Todd took the helm and we sat at the bow while the boat surfed on the waves! Very cool! We had a journal club in the afternoon that I hosted and I have to say my article was the most confusing to read yet – sorry guys!

Friday will now be remembered as Disney day! We listened to Disney all morning as we headed north to hopefully meet the whales as they headed south from coal docks. We had a bit of everything but the best was definitely circle of life while we all worked away on our computers! We did find the whales and  even got a chance to talk to the straight watch guys (http://www.straitwatch.org) who were interested in our hydrophones and my microphone. Which on a side note, has lead to me being called the mic made, because i carry it around all day!

Saturday was the perfect last day on the boat. We had beautiful sunshine – even Hana was only wearing one layer of clothes! We met the whales by lunch time and followed them all day until we had to turn round. On the way to anchor near the friday harbor labs we deployed the dinghy and did a locilisation exercise using underwater speakers and our hydrophones. Megan loved being in the dinghy. In the evening we even got our first chance to play with the critter cam. Its an underwater camera we lights mounted on it. You know your a science geek when you can watch shrimp for several hours and not even realise! We did get to see some crabs and flounders too.

So as you can see we had a great second week at sea, and im sure we will have many more 🙂

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