June 22, 2006
Today my daughter Sabrina had her graduation ceremony. Congratulations, Sabrina, sorry I could not be there with you at your graduation.
Eric was feeling better today. We decided to do a run through (with a checklist) for every data collection procedure. Today is the first time Eric is doing the data collection on board the Endeavor. The crew refers to us as the "alleged scientists".
I received E-mails on my sea wave account from Maryann, Jill and Andrea from the ARMADA/Marine Programs in Rohde Island. It is so good to hear from everyone. I look forward to Friday, when I will speak by phone with the other 12 ARMADA Teachers attending the orientation at GSO. I wish I could have been there with them.
We are passing Sicily and Malta. The ocean is like a sheet of glass. At noon, a fishing vessel suddenly started heading straight at our ship. Armando, who was on watch, first slowed down to let it pass but they would not change course and continued to head in our direction. Finally Captain Bruce just revved the engines and got out of their way. Guess they were just being territorial. It did give me a fright. It emphasized the responsibilities of having to pilot a ship.
I spend a lot of time on the bridge. The crew is always willing to teach me how all the bridge equipment work and share life stories. It is amazing how many of the science standards tie in with the day-to-day running of the ship. David explained all the data that is constantly displayed on the computer monitors in the main lab.
The data collection is going well. The air filters are picking up tremendous amounts of orange sediments. The crew tells me it is most probably the sand from the African desert. The GF/F on the air filter turn the color of coffee filters every 12 hours even though we are out at open sea. The water filters are also showing very high levels of sediment and plankton deposits. They smell awful. This makes one wonder as to the state of our planet. Hopefully the data we collect will result in a better understanding of how invisible pollutants are affecting us globally. We changed the air filters at sunset. The GF/F are still picking up tremendous particulates.