DAY 8: Tuesday, August 26, 2003
I got a wake up call at regular time (5:10 a.m.) and I was so comfortable I fell back asleep. I awoke again fifteen minutes before my shift and jumped into my clothes, washed up and made it to the breakfast table for some of Herbs famous blueberry pancakes. Ahhh, life is always good in the galley. Back up on deck was a beautiful morning. It was my turn to be out with the bongos. As I get older I'm becoming more of a morning person. There is so much to enjoy in the early hours like the sunrise, birds feeding, fish jumping, Herbs' cooking.... I mean it is very peaceful.
After breakfast came our 6:15 station. This station was going to be a deep one (about 300 meters) therefore; it was going to take us awhile to gather the sample and the data. We completed the station and I came to realize how far I have come. Jerry trusted my judgment and worked with me every step of the way. Even though you think you have it down to a system Mother Nature always throws in a little curve ball to keep you thinking. It's been challenging, but as I stated many times Jerry is a great teacher.
Later, on my down time, Robyn and I had a recipe swapping party with Herb. He had so many different types of cookies and desserts. We had our chat about our cooking secrets and before you know it we were at the next station. Jerry thought that we should complete another double bongo on the line along with the CTD. We castled twice and recalled the line to check the small bongos. They had a slightly worn lock and we did our best to secure them. We added another clamp and manually attached the bongos to the line. We believed that we had fixed the problem so we released the bongos. Our location was above Cape Cod in the seas of Maine. The coast is very rocky and you must be careful about your cast and how far down it goes. The proper depth is about 5 meters from the bottom. We sometimes draw the line up at seven meters just to prevent hitting the bottom. Unfortunately, you end up hitting bottom because the depth changes so rapidly that the computer computes it, but we cannot bring the line up fast enough. So sometimes you get rocks or mud and sand in your sample as we did this time. When this happens you must retrieve the bongos and CTD, shower the net reset the computer as well as the CTD and begin all over again. The captain has to return to the same location of latitude and longitude and be start over.
Well, this was another beautiful and calm day out on the sea and we are zigzagging back to Cape Cod and completing the last of our sixty stations. I am excited to talk to my daughter tonight. We are getting closer to land and the mobile phone will be working tonight. It will be neat to hear her voice and know that there is life out there waiting for me to come home and appreciate me. Being out on the sea gives you a lot of time to think about your life and the paths you have chosen. I know my greatest accomplishment, she is home anxious to let me know that I am missed and loved.