Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Groundfish Survey Part II

So I'll finally pick up where I left off from my journal and then (hopefully) share a bit of what I've been up to since coming home.

6/26 at 2:00 pm
Another long day with hardly any breaks. I slept like a log and completely missed my first alarm - good thing I have a backup! No new species really - other than a pretty spotted crab. There was also a teeny crab that I put in a vial to keep. I think I'm finally getting used to the rocking ship - either that or it's getting calmer out. I did see a couple of waterspouts today (tornadoes over water), which was both exciting and scary. No one else was worried about it though. One of our trawls today was 70 kilos and 50 of that was shrimp! Ugh. We started getting really behind after that (like 2 trawls behind) and yet again no breaks. Lunch was pretty good - fried catfish and salad and fries. The dinner tonight is spaghetti but I probably won't request any. Hung around outside a bit after eating/showering but not a lot going on. I may go to bed early, but now I'm going on one more wander.

6/27 at 2:53 pm
Getting late again. Was an awesome day though! We had tons of long breaks and one haul was super tiny (like 3 kilos). We did have another mud haul but still. It was good timing too because I slept terribly - for some reason I just kept waking up. Sometimes I had weird dreams too. Anyway, nothing too exciting during work - except a lot of talking with Joel. He was a big Ursula LeGuin fan and so we talked sci fi for awhile. Had a nice French dip sandwich for lunch and started my laundry after that. Then I watched Scrubs with Alonzo for a bit but then he fell asleep and I nearly did too. Switched my laundry and then wandered around outside for a bit. Good timing too! I walked out to the deck outside my room, started staring at the water, and a dolphin came! It just swam right up to the front of the boat - they I mean. There were at least 3 and 2 were a mother and calf. So awesome! Tried and mostly failed to get pictures and they swam to the other side of the ship. I ran down and across and finally saw them swimming behind the boat like they were following it. They soon lost interest though and swam away. After that I sat on the deck reading for awhile. Came in, tried to get my laundry and it wasn't done yet. So I took a shower, now writing in here, and then I'll go get it and climb into bed. Off I go.

6/28 at 1:24 pm
Had another rough night. Woke up every 2 hours-ish from bad dreams - and most had something to do with Jazzy. I miss her. So I'd wake up sad, remember she was really gone and then get sadder. Work was busy but not hectic - mostly just steady. A couple of horrible mud tows, but luckily not too much shrimp. Finally saw sharks today - we were stopped to haul in the next trawl and had just dumped the latest one and 3-4 sharks came and swirled around eating the dead fish (~4-5 ft long). They also stopped shortly after the sharks to go diving.
Interesting timing, which sparked a lot of discussion about sharks and shark attacks. Emailed home, ate lunch (fried fish with skin on it - good but ew) and showered. Went outside where Walter (cook) told me I'd get a better view from the top. So I finally got adventurous and climbed to the top - literally above my room which is on the top inside section/floor. And there I took pictures of the line of rain intruding on sunny skies.
And then I started to get wet. So much for sunbathing! Came back in and decided to write some postcards and head to bed early. (PS - planning on starting a list of species in the back of this)

6/29 at 1:30 pm
Long shift today. Slept bad last night - nightmares about sorting fish in my bed! Closed the porthole but that didn't help. Small break at the beginning - good because Joel and Casey overslept, Joel got in at 11:58 pm and Casey at 12:19 am. Then steady/busy until ~9:30 am. Then we were practically done, other than bongos/neuston. Saw an octopus in an old Budweiser beer can and caught a HUGE snapper - 26 inches long and 5 lbs of fillets. Also sliced my left middle finger open while putting shrimp in the freezer. All the fish and saltwater kept stinging it until I found the band aids. Went through two before I got the brilliant idea to cover it with duct tape. Didn't come off then until I took it off for my shower. Nice. Ate grilled cheese for lunch (+ a salad) then showered, got dressed, and went outside. Gorgeous day. Sat on the deck and started the species' names list in the back. I'll keep adding as I remember. But I'm doing them all 100% by memory - no cheating! All of these things I currently have memorized (not for long I'm betting). Haven't decided yet if I'll go back out and read, go out and up and read, or just read here and sleep. After starting the list I went to the dry lab and emailed people. I'm so desperate for outside communication! Ah well, I'll end it here.

6/30 at 12:59 pm
See emails. Tacos and sleeping pills from Aspen for lunch - no apple at breakfast. Overslept this am. Autobahn on History Channel at lunch. Nonstop work until 10 am - drills. Sleep. I hope.

*** Inserting the email sent home for this day here***
Today has been a really hard day for me. Last
night I hardly slept at all - and for no reason it seems. I just didn't

sleep - my brain wouldn't stop thinking of random stuff! I finally got
to sleep for about an hour between 5-6 pm and then woke up again and

didn't sleep until 10 pm. And then I slept until 12:40 am - which meant
I was late for my shift. Aspen (roommate who's on the day shift) came
in and woke me up and then I scampered. Luckily they hadn't had
anything to do yet but the trawl started coming up as I finished a few

bites of cereal.

Since then, we've been working nonstop until around 10 am. Quick break
for breakfast but we had a huge trawl come in (11 baskets - we usually

have between 1 and 4). And there were about 3000 shrimp in it - which
have to be individually counted and measured. After that we started

falling behind - first just one trawl behind and then 2. And then the
computer froze on us! Luckily we eventually caught up right around 10
am which was good timing (or evilly planned) because then we had a fire
drill. I felt so bad because all of the day shift had to wake up and go
to the assigned spot.
Directly after that we had an "abandon ship"
drill. Luckily we didn't have to try on the survivor suits this time,
but it still took awhile. After that, Aspen headed back to bed and I
went back to work. Which meant cleaning out the wet lab with PineSol to
try to get rid of some of the smell. And then back in the dry lab to
sit. Yay sitting.

I could fall asleep right now, but the trawl just went in so we have a
30 minute break. Hopefully by the time we finish that we'll be about done.

Earlier I had some lemonade, and it was mostly gone when I noticed there
was a fish scale in it. Which prompted a short debate over whether or
not to drink the remaining lemonade. In the end I decided to drink the
rest of it while avoiding drinking the scale. I call it compromise.

Only new and interesting creature has been a shark sucker - black white

and gray fish that is usually stuck on bigger sharks. Other than that
just shrimp, shrimp, and more shrimp. Well we had all the other stuff
too but nothing else new.

Currently we are about 30 miles due south of Sabine Lake - I think
Louisiana but it could be in Texas. It's a bit rainy out but off and on.

Planning on finishing work, eating some lunch, finding some sleeping
drugs and going to bed.
7/1 at 3:05 pm
Today has been a great day! Not that I slept any better (even with the sleeping pills) but I think I at least slept for longer. Had a nice-paced day. Started and ended with breaks but busy in between. Not behind or rushed, just consistent. We caught a big spade fish - funny in comparison to the size we usually catch. Joel and I took pictures of ourselves with it next to a strategically placed fishing pole.
We also caught some little black tip sharks and I saved some croakers.  All big hauls today - closer to shore.  All the seagulls are back too.  Dumped one haul when next was coming up and saw sharks go after the old and dolphins following the new in.  They came right up next to the boat (dolphins) and some people got some good pics.  Since I failed at picture-taking I opted to get some video.  Haven't watched them yet (battery died and is charging now) but I'm hopeful! At around 10:30 we finished and were told the next station was 90 minutes away.  Score!  So Joel and I went to the lounge and watched National Treasure: Book of Secrets with Vinny (engineer).  After that we ate lunch (noodles and fish and double chocolate cookies) and then back to the lounge to watch Hot Fuzz. Which was hilarious!  Casey came and watched the end.  Then I showered and went out and up to read on the top of my room for awhile.  Cloudy sort of but still got enough sun to feel sleepy (hope I sleep!).  Overall it's been a great day and since tomorrow may be my last shift I hope it goes just as well (if not better!).   

7/2 at 9:51 pm
Yes, it's about an hour and 1/2 from when I normally wake up and I've been awake for 22 1/2 hours. Normal shift - one triple dip but not too much shrimp so no big deal really. Nothing too new or exciting during the shift - other than sharing pictures! I miss home but I'm going to miss here too. Lunch was burgers and salad, then watched Apocalypto - weird but good. Then Casey and Keith watched Wanted and Joel was in his room so I started laundry. Watched a bit of the movie then wandered around/read outside for awhile.
Talked to the attractive ensign Aaron for awhile, watched the CTD and trawl go in and out from the deck outside my room.
Saw one dolphin when talking to Aaron and a shark earlier when I threw a couple of dead croakers over - but nothing too fantastic. I'm so tired! Found Joel again at dinner - I just had a potato and chocolate fudge cake (omg). After, I went down to the dry lab and heard the rest of Joel's scandalous advisor drama. Back in the lounge watched part of Bangkok Dangerous (Nicolas Cage) with Vinny, Aspen, and Joel. Now bedtime for me - screw the postcards!

7/3 at 11:58 pm
Got up - bought a t-shirt and said goodbye to Casey and Aspen and most everyone else. Hung around the ship for a bit - got online and no one had emailed me :(. Joel came back and then we walked to the beach (long and HOT walk). Got there and set up under nice umbrellas with chairs.
Joel went in the water and I sat and a dude with a clipboard came and asked if I wanted to rent the umbrella and chairs. I was like hell no and moved my stuff and went out to the water.
Didn't stay there as long as I'd have liked to - Joel got too hot (and little did I know it but I was getting toasted as well). Headed up and found a piratey beach bar and had some frozen margaritas (not as bad as I thought).
I spilled water all over the table and Joel got wings which took forever to arrive. Then started the long, scenic, and semi-depressing walk back. Stopped at a Foodmart once just to cool down. Was walking around in my flip flops and got blisters in between my big toe and second toe on both feet (one just popped and oozed - nice). Walked back to the boat and then showered. Then went with Alonzo and Joel on the long traffic-ridden trip to Walmart so Joel could get a cooler for his fish samples. Got back and took pictures of the "Capt. Joel" boat and then I watched The Bourne Identity with Jared and Alonzo while Joel wandered around Galveston. He called and invited me to dinner and so I went out and met him. Couldn't find a place and the Quiznos was closed (next to pink Elvis lofts - wtf?) so ended up taking a long circle to a Japanese place so Joel could have sushi. Sushi?! After the trip we've just had that surprised me, but whatever! I had the most boring salad. Our waitress must have been new because she kind of sucked. Didn't get the chicken on my salad and Joel was shorted a lime but whatever. Headed back to the ship, talked for a bit, and then Joel headed to bed while I started packing/cleaning/throwing towels in the laundry. Timers are set to go off at 7 am tomorrow so hopefully I'll get up and won't forget my starfish. Can't wait to get home!

List of species:
Stenotamus caprinus - scaly, silver fish
Portunus spinicarpus - spiky brown crab with long arms
Callinectes similus - green crab with blue and white, bigger claws
Trichurus lepturus - cutlass fish
Lagodon rhomboides - blue and yellow striped fish (my favorite!)
Porichthys plectrodon - brown/gold with electropores
Peprilis burti - butterfish, silver, smooth
Solenocera vioscai - long horned shrimp
Calappa sulcata - crab that fits together like a stone, orange
Bregomacerus atlanticus - little, silvery minnow
Synodus foetens - lizard fish, long skinny and brown
Amusium paprycium - "funny papers!" scallops
Lutjanus campechanus - red snapper
Micropogonias undulatus - croaker, green/gold, non-forked tail
Upeneus parvus - goatfish, pink with black and white striped tail
Pristimopoides aquiloneres - pink fish
Serranus atrobanchus - small, pinkish, tiny
Loligo peali - squid, pointed mantle
Lepophidium brevibarbe - eel, gold with black edge
Raja texana - skate
Muscalis canis - dogfish shark
Penaeus aztecus - brown shrimp!
Trachypenaeus similus - smaller shrimp, rough carapace
Urophycis floridanus - hake, gray and black
Centropristus philadelphicus - like a bass
Hildebrandia flava - long, thin eel, gold
Polystira tellea - spiral shell
Anasimus latus - spider crab
Cynoscian nothus - white trout, narrow anal fin
Cynoscian aeronarus - white trout, broad anal fin
Lolliguncula brevis - squid, broad mantle
Bollmania communis - minnow with hake-like tail
Selene setapinnus - moon fish, big forehead
Chloro. chrysurus - yellow top and tail
Callinectes sapidus - big version of similus
Leiostomatus xanthuras - like croaker but forked tail
Opisthonema ophelium - sparkly blue and green top, silver bottom

And ladies and gentlemen that's all I wrote!

Not much has happened since coming home. I worked my shift at Culver's - luckily the manager I had the argument with wasn't working on Sunday. I ended up getting off a couple of hours early which was nice. I'm scheduled to work everyday this week except Monday and Wednesday. Went in on Tuesday (rode my bike) and worked for about an hour before they sent me home. They keep overstaffing the place and weekdays are not very busy. Later that day I went with mom to Belle's first puppy class. It was kind of fun and kind of a joke. The first 30 minutes of the class was spent watching the puppies just play with each other, which was really cute. Belle is very social! Then we took them outside to potty, then back in to learn "sit." Belle pretty much knows it though so that was kind of a waste. The class went well over the time limit and the teacher told us it probably would every night. Then why don't they just say that class is from 6 - 7:30 instead of saying it's 6 - 7 and then going over every night? Seems to be poor planning or advertising.

Tuesday night I went to see Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen with both my sisters and their boyfriends. It was a little awkward, and I think I'd have enjoyed the movie more seeing it with different people, but it was still fun. The movie was lacking a lot of the class of the first one. I mean, the random corny bits were just a little too much. And why were the Decepticons all of a sudden speaking English half the time? I did like that Optimus kicked a lot more ass in this one than he did in the first one. He was definitely much cooler.

Today I didn't do a whole lot. I baked cookies - that lasted a few hours. Hopefully the cookies themselves will last longer than my last batch did. Cookies seem to disappear quickly in this house - but I hid three bags in freezers this time. After that I took Belle over to the dog park and she had a blast. Of course the ground is all muddy so she got pretty dirty but I think it was worth it to see my little 12 week old lab trying to take on a fully grown mastiff. She is such a brave little dog! She also made good friends with an 11 week old huskie. She's definitely not shy! Watched some of the Twins game and then went to the RAC where I watched all the way until the top of the ninth inning. Then I had to shower and head home - and I'm still not sure how they did. I should go check that. Apparently they lost. Oh well, at least it was close!

Now I'm heading to bed (probably). Still no word from the VA or any of my other jobs (other than another almost instant rejection from Mayo).

1 comment:

Javier Portillo said...

very interesting but sad when i read about the bad dreams. sounds like you had some fun atleast tho. and i guess that means no postcards eh? oh well...