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Journals 2008/2009

Tom Bogard
Olentangy Orange Middle School, Lewis Center, OH

"Galapagos Penguin and Flightless Cormorant Survey of the Galapagos Island"
Charles Darwin Research Station, Galapagos
August 25 - September 12, 2008
Journal Index:
August 24/25 - 26 - 27 - 28 - 29 - 30 - 31
September 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9 - 10
                 11 - 12 - 13 - 14/15

September 4, 2008
Departure on the Queen Mabel

Not much going on today. I spent most of my time hanging out in my dorm room reading and studying. I took a final walk through to see the animals at the Station - they are so very cool, I will miss seeing them every day. I met Gustavo and some of the other personnel at the quarantine station to gather up the materials and supplies and took them down to the dock. We loaded them onto a Zodiac for transport to the boat where the boat's crew loaded them on the boat. It took several trips to get all the items on the boat. We have to be at the City dock by 9:30 p.m. to be taken to the boat - the Queen Mabel.

As we approached the Queen Mabel, all 51 feet of her, I could see that she was bobbing around like a cork and this while she was still anchored in port. I have never been seasick or air sick in my life; I was still glad that I had put on a scopolamine patch just in case to prevent sea sicknesses (or so I thought - but I am getting ahead of myself). I felt a little bit queasy as soon as I was on board. Since I was in the first group on the boat I was able to choose my cabin. In trying to get all of my stuff through the very narrow passageway I questioned why I had brought so much.

We got underway around 11:30. As soon as we reached open water my stomach went from a little queasy to very queasy - oh boy, not good. The boat was pitching wildly (at least it seemed to me) and was yawing and rolling all at the same time! For the first time in my life I was full on, 100%, seasick! This horrible, wretched, little boat - I could feel every twisted movement she made. It is not a boat but some sort of South American torture device whose wrath is aimed directly at me. Queen Mabel - no, its name should be Queen Misery!

I was not alone in my misery - several of the survey crew and an Australian girl who had signed on to help the boat's crew were sick to varying degrees. The Aussie and I were the worst. We would take turns spending time at the rail introducing the ocean to our stomach contents. The 10-15 minutes between trips to the rail felt pretty good - until the next wave of nausea hit. Finally around 4:15 I was able to make it to my cabin. Exhaustion had won out over seasickness. Two hours of fitful sleep later and it was a whole new day.