July 29, 2006
We set sail at 11:00 am with everyone waving good-bye from the dock. As I watched Lisa Balance, the chief scientist, wave good-bye to her husband Bob Pitman, the cruise leader, it is heart warming to see the love and admiration both have for each other. I think deep down, as a married couple they really do like each other.
Fire drills, abandon ship, and man overboard drills were all part of getting underway. I spent most of my time helping fix the big eyes, binoculars that can see up to 6 miles. A relay switch was broken and we traced the problem and fixed the bad relay. I actually felt that I am a contributing member instead of just bumping around.
As we left San Diego a group of common dolphins began bow riding. The ship creates a pressure wave and friendly dolphins love surfing the wave. These dolphins are incredible athletes, they are smooth and agile and very fun to watch.
As the sun was setting Joao, a crew member, explained as the sun sets into the ocean right before it disappears a green flash is emitted. He told me to watch, and sure enough it probably did happen, the problem however, I am color blind. I didn't tell him, he thought he was showing me a pretty cool phenomenon.
Candice Hall, the oceanographer and I deployed the CTD capsule (conductivity, temperature, and depth). This unit is dropped 1000 meters into the ocean and the 12 Niskin bottles are fired and closed at pre-determined depths as the unit is brought to the surface. This is a pretty easy job, the unit swings around a little and my job is to keep it from banging around the ship, I just steady the unit as it is dropped and when it comes aboard.