Spencer Nelson’s Blogs Leg 3

July 18, 2018

Really bummed out that this is our last full day on the ship. These 4 or 5 days flew by. After breakfast we walked to the aquarium, and checked out all of the animals as well as the tank that Keiko used to live in. After the aquarium we went to Rogue for lunch. Had a cheeseburger and a brewski. Had to get those carbs in for kickball.

Went back to the ship to meet up for kickball, and got a ride with some NOAA dudes. Met a guy who is a Nuclear Engineer and worked on submarines for the Navy, which is one of my dream jobs. It was cool to talk to him about what he did and how he got into that position. Played two games of kickball, three innings each. We won the first game, and then lost the second, scoring us second place. It felt good to run around outside, although I still feel like waves are moving under me.
Back at the ship we ate some late dinner and watched Planet Earth. It was a great way to end a great trip. I’m hopeful I will have the opportunity to come again, and experience more Jason dives. This trip definitely solidified my desire to work in an ocean related industry, and it was nice to see how many hands-on opportunities there are.

July 17, 2018

Woke up at 10:30 AM surprisingly. I had a feeling I would have slept until mid afternoon. I’m glad I didn’t though because I had the opportunity to help out on deck. Matthew and I got the chance to run one of the big winches, which was a cool experience. I got to talk to some of the deck crew about the way things work and about some of the machinery which is a huge interest of mine. I love looking at the builds of these machines, the huge bolts, rotors, chains, cogs, joints, etc.
After getting the line on the winch, Julie and Orest taught us how to collect water samples for testing. I had no idea how meticulous you needed to be to get good water samples. I would be curious to watch the titrations of these samples, to see how the data is collected and what is concluded from the results. It was fun doing this with all of the students on board.
Took the group photo on the bow. The Captain pointed out a pod of dolphins, which was awesome to see. Supposedly they might be white-sided porpoises, but I’m not too sure.  We went to the bridge and got to see some whales. There were no real breaches but you could see the spray from their blowholes as well as a small section of their back as they rolled over the surface.
The rest of the night was pretty laid back, and ended up going to bed pretty early.

July 15, 2018

Woke up today at 4:50 AM. Our alarm on our phone was quiet compared to the ship, so we did not actually hear it or wake up until 4:57, which made us slightly late to our shift. Luckily we got there in time to capture everything that we needed to. From 0500 to 0800, Matthew and I were taking video and stills. Skip helped us figure out exactly what we should be capturing which helped a lot. After 0800, I stayed outside and took some more photos to get a 3rd angle. After a while I really just wanted to help on deck and get some hands on experience with the equipment so I put my camera away and headed back out on the stern. I had the opportunity to help install floats onto the cables and help move the cage to the edge for departure. There is a lot to learn out here and its cool watching this process come together. The team works hard.

Went up on the bow to talk to the chief engineer who was working the BBQ. Saw a large fish swimming ~4-5 feet below the surface. It looked like a shark, although apparently there are fish around here called links or lings that look similar to sharks. Not sure which one it was. Apparently sharks were seen from the deck as buoys were being launched, so they are out here. Hoping to see more!
Tonight was BBQ night, had a large steak and ginger beer.
Hung out in the lounge, ate some snacks, and fell asleep around 10:30 AM to prepare for the early shift.

July 14, 2018

This morning I woke up at 0700 feeling anxious for departure. A little nervous but mostly excited about what to expect. Departure was delayed from 1400 to 1500 in order to get setup in calm water at the dock. As soon as the water roughened up, started to feel nauseous , but took some ginger and a Dramamine and it helped me out.

On our way out to our destination we saw a small pod of dolphins swimming next to us, but we outran them and did not get to spend much time observing them. Once we got to our destination (~40 miles out), we had a meeting and then it was time to start setting up. I like getting my hands dirty and being put to work, and I want to help as much as I can. I am afraid of getting in the way of those that know how to do this job efficiently, but am hopeful they ask when they need it. In the afternoon, a few of us hung out at the picnic bench and watched the water. Leland and I had the opportunity to help setup the tanks for water testing. Matthew and I were assigned the early morning shift for 0500, so we went to bed relatively early.

July 13, 2018

Woke up at 5:30 A.M., got in the car and was dropped off at UW. Got the keys for the Nissan Rogue and drove off towards Oregon with Matthew and Leland. My water bottle was too large for the cup holders so I put it in the center console. Half way to our destination I had the thought that I won’t forget my water bottle. Of course as I’m settling in on the ship I realized that I had forgotten my water bottle. Thankfully Julie recovered it for me. Had a fairly relaxing night checking out the water and bridge, taking photos and waiting for tomorrow. Emilio and I tried to get one last beer in before we were aboard for good, but the lines at Rogue were too long and we didn’t want to risk it. It was still cool seeing Rogue’s headquarters and seeing the inside of their brewery. Had flank steak for dinner, played some video games, and fell asleep.