Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Expedition Trailer Now Playing On YouTube!!

Hey everybody, check out the “trailer” for the IODP expedition I’m going on! It’s so awesome – my excitement now officially knows no bounds!

I fly out of Seatac tomorrow evening (12/31) at 5:30 for New Zealand, where I will join this very expedition, and set sail for Wilkes Land, Antarctica! This is so mind-bogglingly cool – I can’t almost believe it’s actually happening!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Coming Soon to a Blog Near You

Greetings to all who read this.


Everything is now go for me to go with the Texas A&M University Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (TAMU IODP) to Antarctica for two months.  My plan is to update this blog as frequently as possible (supposedly I’ll have internet access aboard the ship, but it will be slow) with my activities, and pictures. 


I’ll be flying first to Wellington, New Zealand, where I’ll board the IODP’s ship, JOIDES Resolution, and go south to a spot off the Antarctic region called the Wilkes Land Glacier.  The ship is named for Capt. Cook’s ship HMS Resolution, and “JOIDES” stands for “Joint Oceanographic Institutions for Deep Earth Sampling”.


We’ll do science for two months out at sea, then head back to Hobart, Austrailia (actually on the island of Tasmania, so I’m hoping to snap a photo of a Devil there), where I’ll board a plane and fly home to Seattle.  Then I get a whole month off to spend with the family I’ll be desperately missing by then, and hopefully work toward moving to Texas.


In order for me to learn the ins and outs of life aboard the IODP’s ship, I’m going this time not as a software engineer, but as a “core tech”.  As I understand it, the job of a core tech is to carry the core samples brought up from the sea floor around the ship to the different lab stations for whatever scientific experiments are to be done upon them.  I guess these things come up as long, narrow cylinders, and I have to carry them around, chop them up, carry the pieces around some more, chop them up some more, and finally carry the pieces to a holding area where they remain for the duration of the voyage.


It’s really nice of them to let me go on this expedition.  Aside from the wonderful adventure, and learning experience, the extra bonus pay will help Molly get the house ready for sale!  Molly’s getting the short straw this go-round: she’s gotta stay behind and oversee the preparations for our big move, while I get to go gallivanting around the globe.


The one downside: I’ve been told that during the expedition, everyone works 12 hours per day, 7 days per week.  That sounds crazy to me, but that’s what I’m told.


The nearest I’ve come to a sea voyage in my 46 years is …, let’s see, the Seattle ferries, and one short whale-watching cruise.   This is gonna be some adventure!


In addition to this being my first post about the new job, this is also my first post via email – a method I’m trying out because emails can be written up offline, and sent later, making it easier for me to post.  We’ll see if I can keep up regular posts for the whole two months.  I’ll do my best!  I hope it’s interesting!