July 27, 2006
I moved out of the University of California San Diego dorms this morning and headed to the ship. Candice Hall, the oceanographer and a South Africa native, was kind enough to give Cyndi Martin, an ARMADA teacher, and myself a ride to the airport. On the way Cyndi casually asked what the San Diego pro football mascot was, Candy answered very quickly saying it was "the Miami Dolphins". A typical answer from a South African, we all enjoyed quite a laugh at Candy's expense.
As we entered the Point Loma gates, the irony hit me. Just 2 years ago I was on Shelter Island point which is only 200 yards from the Point Loma docks, looking at the research ships and wondering where they go. I was there with my mother-in-law for Thanksgiving, how strange it seems I am now walking up to that same ship and asking the Commanding Officer for permission to come aboard.
As I see the ship for the first time I notice 2 Heating and Air conditioning trucks on the pier next to the ship. To quote Kirk, an ARMADA teacher, "That can't be good." As the day wore on the ship did begin to cool off.
The David Starr Jordan is not a large ship, only 176 feet long. I find my berthing room and notice it is in the crew's quarters. The crew cabins are a little larger but are below deck. Two of us share a small but comfortable room, my bunk mate is Jose Cito a crew member.
After dropping my pack off I began helping set up the ship. The activity is fast and furious; each scientist is setting up computers, packing equipment, and organizing their workspace. Four months is a long time to be at sea, I am happy I am only going for 3 weeks. We will head out to the bay to calibrate all of the instruments and do safety drills for sea. Tomorrow sounds fun and will probably be a big day.