Day 1: July 14th, 2015
So day one we arrived in New Orleans in the late afternoon and found Edie Widder on the flight from North Carolina to New Orleans. She was in first class, and I was in economy. We arrived and met Heather, who is at FIU as a professor. She is the specialist on shrimp and decapods. We had a 2-hour drive to the small town where all the houses were on stilts. A classic Louisiana shrimping community, in the marshes of the Gulf of Mexico. We got to the 110ft vessel called the pelican, at eight at night and unloaded our gear, until 11. My bunk is so small; I can’t sit up in it! It is so funny how small my little cubby is.
Day 2: July 15th, 2015
I woke up early because breakfast was served at 6, I was ready to work. I was in the sun put on the legs to the Medusa from 8-11 it was so hot and humid, but fun. I had an engineer, named Tony help me. We finally got them all on. Then was the satellite beacon, and the bait arm. Then I have to test everything… That is including the CABO, PORT system, Strobe, and CTD. Everything works so far, but the CABO, the website wasn’t working which was so frustrating. But because the site that we picked wasn’t great we, decided not to deploy the Medusa today. So instead we are going to the next place and spend more time there. 12 tomorrow to 6 pm the following day. I hope everything is working great! And I hope that Edie is happy with my work.
Day 3: July 16th, 2015
I woke up early and got the Medusa ready for a noon deployment. Got everything ready, but we couldn’t connect to the new DVR, so I had to change the IP address, once I did it worked. I thought that Edie had connected with the camera before, but I made it work! I’m a little nervous about collecting the data for the video; I hope that it works. I don’t have very much room on my hard drive, so I bought the external. The CTD wasn’t connecting to this computer, so I have to take it off of the Medusa and install a new driver. IT WORKED! So we were ready for the last piece to deploy the Medusa! Which is awesome! We started to deploy the Medusa, and I remembered to turn the e-jelly. We had to bring it back to the ship and turn it on! I’m so glad that I remembered it. I think that Edie has a lot of respect for me because I have been working so hard for her. Everyone else has the notice which has made it easy to get some credit and feel like I belong a little. These scientists are so much smarter than me, or they are just an expert in something, and this might be it. Edie told me some wonderful stories. She was telling me a time when they were collecting the Medusa in Japan, and the crew member that was out on the dingy went into the water too cool off and was thrown back into the dingy by a school of giant manta rays. All they wanted to do it play, so much so that they wouldn’t let the dingy back to the boat. Another story she told me was the two big breaks in her career. She studied the biosciences in diatoms in California, and her professor got a specter array, to measure the light and source of the bioluminescences, she figured out how to use it, became an expert, and was shipped to see to start measuring animals that produce the light. Then once she was out at sea, she was trying to communicate to the WASP pilots of the wasps, what the bioluminescence was, and getting them to turn off the lights. All they would say is that this is amazing, and she would try to get them to describe the bioluminescences. Eventually, she got the offer to train to become a WASP pilot. She had a post-Doc all set up in Madison Wisconsin, and she called them up and said, I’m staying to become a WASP pilot. She has some amazing stories I’m so glad I’m getting close to her.
Day 4: July 17th, 2015
Today I woke up early again to make sure that we hadn’t heard from the Medusa, checking the Satellite. We haven’t heard anything which is a great thing. We will be picking her up late tonight; I hope that she comes up and we find her. She came back; the video was really bad, there was only shrimp cutthroat eels and crabs for the first 3 hours. Then after that, there was very little activity. I watched the video for two days.
Day 6: July 19th, 2015
We dropped the Medusa at 1975m which is the deepest yet, we lost communication with it, which was extremely scary. But we got contact! So tomorrow hopefully will be great! And come up on time.