We’re five days into what has been an amazing trip. There’s nothing quite like being on a world-class oceanographic research vessel which also just happens to be carrying along with it a 7 foot tall submersible ROV with its own crane and operating crew. The ROPOS ROV is an incredible piece of technology and understandably is often the center of attention. But we’ve all also been hard at work initiating our own little projects, for me that means that I have been collecting and processing a number of water samples that were gathered from as deep as 3000 meters and taking part in my watch in the ROV control room where I get to control the sub’s main HD camera which has a price tag of about $180,000. No big deal.
In addition to the official work however, I have also made a few non-scientific findings about life aboard the R/V Thompson that they don’t teach in any class. I would like to now share a few these:
1) Eating lots of meatloaf right before leaving port for an all-night transit out to open ocean is a BAD idea.
2) My room is right next to the bow thruster. Actually, my room might as well be the bow thruster room.
3) Earplugs do not exactly block the sounds from the bow thruster room.
4) One of my professors really likes the Black Album by Jay-Z (I don’t want to name any names but he goes by “Dr.” Bob Morris).
Long story short, an interesting dynamic emerges from working side-by-side with my fellow students and scientists 24/7 in a relatively confined area. This cruise is one of those rare opportunities where we students simultaneously get to know our teachers really well and learn a great deal from them about how ocean research is conducted. We have been having a lot of fun while we’re at it, but I really cannot stress enough how much I regretted that meatloaf.