January 13, 2008
Today was a fairly relaxed day with everyone helping out with last minute preparations and double-checking their gear for the cruise. We took previously used 10 cm by 10 cm acetate plates, pulled the safety walk tape off and scrapped barnacles off the sides and bottom. New safety walk tape was applied and holes drilled so that the plate could be attached to the substrate. The rocks we collected while at Champion were drilled with bolts inserted.
There are three sea lions that like to call home on the docks behind the lab. They have let me get within two feet of them to watch the mom nurse her pup. The pup climbs all over her going from one nipple to another. When she tires she slips into the water. There is a small boat anchored just off shore, they like to climb on it to lay in the sun as well. The boat has empty plastic 4 liter water bottles hanging along the sides, presumably to ward off the sea lions. It isn't working too well.
All of the dive gear and scientific equipment needed to be taken to the boat. The Mabel is too big for the docks, so we loaded the gear onto a panga that ferried it to the Mabel. I was surprised that we were doing this at 9 am for a 10 pm cruise. Turn around time for the boats are quick. The Mabel had got in that morning from another trip. She needed to be cleaned and prepared for us so she wasn't quite ready for us to board. Tides play a roll as well. Since we would need to ferry the bulk of our gear using a panga, we needed to time it with the high tide to make it easier to load from the dock.
Once everything was ready for the cruise, we went to the beach and enjoyed the day. After a pre-cruise pizza dinner, we made our way to the docks to catch the panga out to the Mabel, a 50-foot wooden vessel. We passed a few yachts, then came along side what will be our home for the week. She will serve our purpose but space will be tight.