July 28, 2006
We set out into San Diego Bay for instrument calibration and safety drills. We left at 8:00 am and returned at 9:00 pm.
The day started slow with fueling at the dock, which took up most of the morning. I guess if you plan to be at sea for 3 weeks, you need a lot of fuel. The next exercise was safety drills. We all became crew certified for small boat operation, this involved completing man overboard drills. Once we showed competency we were cleared to crew a small boat.
Each day my mission on the ship becomes a little clearer. As of now I have 3 responsibilities, first being nightly net tows for zooplankton eggs and copepods. The second area I assist in is sea turtle capture, tagging, and blood sampling. The third area is squid collection. We will be catching the giant Humboldt squid, which can get up to 6 feet long. We will jig for these squid under the direction of Iliana Ruiz- Cooley, a graduate from New Mexico State University.
We set sail tomorrow at 11:00 am. The next time I will set foot on land will be August 14, 2006. Am I ready? Of course I'm ready - this has been a long week.
The rooms and food are exceptional. The crew and the scientists seem to really like each other; I think everyone will really have a good time together. I will remember to take my sea sick pills; I hear we will be heading into a squall tomorrow.