7 August 2007
Last night went ashore on Key West. An interesting change from being at sea. It's full of people, noise and shops and is the tail end of Rte 1. I bought some reef water blue Crocks, can't wait to toss my old sneaks into the deep sea. When I arrived back at the wharf the gate was locked (darn) so I jumped on an adjacent boat, which was tied up to the other side, and climbed around and over the rail. Nice to get back on the boat.I was up in the wheelhouse checking on the sea conditions that Capt. Sean and Mate John enter in the ship's log: Temperature - 85° (dry bulb); wind - north F-3; visibility - good; course - 278°. Then all was quiet as Capt. Sean shut everything down so the propeller could be cleared. Caught another lobster pot line this morning. Over the side to clear the line went Tom Murphy one of Bob's lab technicians. He was successful, although he admitted that being surrounded by deep blue water was a bit creepy. Soon we got underway to our first transect site for the day.
During a brief lull in the sampling, I asked Tom about his work. He is a recent graduate of U. Miami with a major in Marine Science and Biology. As a kid, he was inspired by watching the Discovery Channel, in particular Shark Week, and by growing up on the south shore of Long Island. He has been working on this research project since June when he sailed on the first cruise. Some day he'd like to get his PhD. and be a college professor like Dr. Cowen who is active in research. Corals and diseases of corals in particular interest him. SCUBA diving and rock climbing are what he does for fun. His shark story - he was snorkeling off Key Largo with a friend when a bull shark come up a little too fast and a little too close. Bull sharks are known to be both territorial and aggressive. Luckily, they got out of the water quickly and with limbs intact.
Busier waters this afternoon, a huge cruise ship sailed by and several container vessels. Later, Cedric was flipping crepes in the galley. What a treat.