Thursday, October 7, 2010

What Is This New Feeling?

Its the feeling of cold. WHAT?!?!?

Backing up a tad....
It's the day before exams start, so our morning schedule was a little different than usual. I was student of the day today, so I had to set out breakfast, restock the fridge, and come up with a morning game. All the CF's reading this, I made everyone play the viking game :D It was a lot of fun and took some stress off of studying for exams. We had an hour of class on field techniques and then a long 3 hour break to study or do what we want with. I went back to sleep until 11 or so at which point I had skype date with IZZY!!! :) After fiddling with the Internet connection for a while, we were able to have a decently long conversation and then I did my rain dance in the drizzle that was our morning. After lunch, we had to go out into the field again to do conch stock assessments.

Group Ochocinco was in the second group of the day, and the boats are supposed to come in between 3:30 and 4 to pick us up. Well, boat 1 came in at 3:30, not our boat, and we waited another half hour for our boat to finally arrive at the dock, and we were more than exasperated to finally be aboard. Our collection site was site #29, one of the farthest sites from the Center and the boat ride took forever. The winds today were extremely odd, coming from the complete opposite direction than they normally do, making the current flow the exactly perpendicular to their normal movement. This made the boat ride to the site very, very long, and cold, since ocean spray was coming directly at us. Upon arrival at site 29, we discovered that it was not 4 feet deep as all our previous sites, but 12 feet deep, with waves, strong current, and poor visibility. To add to the discouraging conditions, there were a lot of conch. And I mean, a LOT more than usual. Bad for me seeing as I was surveying the conch today. It was painful to dive down that deep to look at each individual shell, and it was equally difficult to stay at the bottom for very long to get a good look at the conch to see if it was knocked or unknocked, measure it, etc. To top it all off, most of the conch were enormous and buried, so it took two more trips than usual to unbury it and then dust it off to check for a hole in its apex. Needless to say, none of us were very thrilled to be surveying today. As we got back on the boat to move to our fourth location, already going to cut it close to coming back on time, the boat wont start. The starter died, and it simply would not go. No oomph. No nothing. So we waited. And waited. Aaaaand waited for Mike and Dave to come rescue us in the Zodiac chase boat, getting colder on the boat as it got darker and closer to dinner. Finally, we saw the Zodiac in the distance and as it approached us, we said, what the hell, lets try the motor one more time! The try didn't work. Then Lizzie tried it again, and it did. Go figure. We were able to make it all the way back in, with an escort from Mike and Dave, but the ride in was colder than we were all expecting. There was wind, ocean spray, and a setting sun, none of which made us feel any better about being late to dinner. Dave and I, the staff and student of the day were both late, so we didn't have to set up for dinner. But, that being said, I was freezing cold at dinner and had to sandwich myself between friends to warm me up. For the rest of the night, everyone on the boat with me was in long sleeves and pants, even though it was warm.

I took the rest of the night to study for my exam, during which I drank an obscene amount of tea and hot chocolate, to stay warm and awake, and then I skyped Quin at SCU for a good long while. It was great; we got to giggle about old inside jokes and I got updates on band, my friends back home, and I got to see a few of them on the computer screen. After that, I called Nick briefly before going to bed. I realized quickly that I didn't have sheets. They were still drying on the line, since I had put them out in the rain to get clean but a late night drizzle made them damp again. So, I am dressed in sleeves and leggings to go to bed. Not my best dress for bed in the heat, but Im still a bit cold so it works out.

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