August 29, 2014
There’s really no way to describe the experience I’ve had thus far sailing on the Thomas G. Thompson with the VISIONS'14 crew. But since I’m above such crude generalizations, I’ll attempt to give you some insight as to what my world has been like for the past few days. Before this, I had never had any open-water sailing experience save for a couple weeks on a cruise ship. I wasn’t expecting to feel every rock and sway of the boat even when we weren’t moving. It’s not too bad now since I’ve quickly grown to deal with the occasional stumble while walking between rooms or finding myself almost falling out of my chair.
Even though my living conditions have become a moderate annoyance compared to land-lubber life, the excitement of helping on a project that’s on the forefront of how people do oceanography science has far outweighed my personal struggles. Each day I have a shift of 4 hours where I take pictures from ROPOS’s (our underwater ROV) digital still camera to log the technical details and biological encounters of that dive to the sea floor.
I also have a project of my own! To give a little background: along with majoring in biochemistry, I’m also majoring in computer science. Since the focus of this cruise is to set up a network of instruments in the hopes of streaming huge amounts of real-time data from the ocean floor to land, big data handling is a must. So my project is to take some of the testing data that has been collected and interpret it from its raw state to a human-readable format. I’m extremely excited to get started especially since I’ll be working in one of my favorite languages: Python. Here’s to hoping that my data gets here soon!