Matthew Tomko Blog

11 August 2014

Last day of the cruise. Most of it spent in slight seasickness, although not enough for any drastic measures. We presented projects today. It was fun to see what other people had been up to during the 11 days. It was slightly uncomfortable for some students including myself on account of not having media prepared to the point where presentation was very viable.  However, I feel that I gave a good idea of what it was going to be with only the PowerPoint and my minimal public speaking skills. I will be working the media today and tomorrow.

We landed in port earlier and I took a nice walk to the nearby town after some darts and all people of age going to the bars. So it was a solitary night, but a good night all the same. Well, we are off to Seattle bright and early tomorrow morning. So, tah tah!

10 August 2014

What a wondrous time it has been so far. I have come to know some of my fellow students and now realize that they have many of the same interests as me. Watches with Alex has been quite the time, and the ROPOS crew is becoming more comfortable with us. They allowed Alex and I to control the camera, both pan and zoom, which doesn’t seem like much but it makes watch very fun. What's more, they taught us how to control the arms of ROPOS although they would never dream of allowing us to really control them. I spent much of the morning out on the hammocks after watch. I saw the sun rise and the moon set simultaneously. I have come to realize that sunset and sunrise look the same out at sea. Well, best be off. Regards to all.

6 August 2014

What a nice time a research cruise can be, when you don’t have to worry about being sick. I am getting used to the feeling of a boat beneath my feet, and that is a great thing to know. I worked for hours and hours yesterday on my project, mainly concentrating on writing a script for the video clips we are putting together. I realized as I was making a video clip, that on account of not knowing how long it had to be, I couldn’t effectively edit. That, along with the fact that I need the words and videos to match, made me wise to the fact that I should first worry about writing my script. I think that the project has taken an interesting form, and it should not only be a good educational tool, but also indirectly a good way to inflict interest into people about hydrothermal vent sites and the biology behind them.

Half way through the cruise, I finally got my bio to Deb. I think she was getting quite impatient with me, and for good reason, as I was probably over a month late getting it to her. I am now an actual person on the website, as Deb put it. Which is good to know. I am absolutely having a wonderful time so far and I am quite excited to see how the project turns out, particularly how the crew and scientists react to the presentation of it. Well, that’s all for now. So long sailors and non sailors!

2 August 2014

Day 2 aboard the Thompson has thus far been very engaging and fun. I have been brainstorming project ideas and have gotten a good bit of feedback from fellow students. John gave us students our first lecture of the cruise today, which was very entertaining, engaging, and educational. The lecture was postponed an hour for the sake of myself and a few other students having the opportunity to practice SCIENCE. We took part in water sampling from the CTD contraption, very fun. Overall the sampling was an awesome experience. Even the worst part, getting bathed in water from thousands of meters under the surface, had an air of excitement that stretched a big smile across my face.

From here, I am stoked to further explore the deep ocean, and interact with some of the scientists and crew. This will hopefully lead me to gathering information regarding my research project. Needless to say, it has been a great experience aboard thus far.

1 August 2014

Day 1 of Visions’14 leg 2 was at least a bit stressful for every first time student aboard; at least I would like to think so. Perhaps for me a bit more than others on account of the resultant dumb feelings surrounding me from forgetting my passport. Well, life goes on, and where is the fun without a bit of misfortune, misinterpretation, and mishap.  Transit is said to always be the hardest time, as far as sickness goes. I luckily made it through transit mostly asleep, and while awake feeling good, sick-free, and excited to be here. However, during my first ROPOS watch of the trip, I fell ill and was forced to take part in my first, and hopefully last, round of Dramamine, which admittedly helped enormously. I have found that sleep comes very easily when you have a constant and relaxing (in some situations) rocking movement throughout the night. I slept like a baby to say the least.