The climbfish have now evolved to cover my life in the US - including very exiting life in downtown Baltimore (aka the wire) and ocean research expeditions with NOAA. I don't promise frequent updates but I will try and cover the most and least exiting times here. Enjoy!
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Monday, April 23, 2012

Signing out...

Culebra Video Update!

Arrived to culebra 2 days ago. Its a small paradise. Small only because its a small island. Except for the hord of ants that invited themselves to my tent at arrival. Have to bring Anna here for Hopkins detox soon. Life is good.

Picture update:
Brum brum... Culebra from above

This is your captain speaking!
Will enjoying the view
Who needs a hammock?

I do!
Marine debris...
The roosters drove us crazy each morning - this one still not old enough to be annoying
Finally got my survival skills together!
Best drink around
Ants, roosters and palm trees (that fell down on wills tent)
Its good to breath

Turtle power

A little bit of scuba too

Lion fish harpoon pirate

The last day we had a great morning free diving just off the beach were we camped. Just when the camera stopped working I had the best dive experience of the trip. This beutiful moraine eel peaked its head from under a ledge, and when I poked my head in to investigate she came out and looked at me, totally exposed 50 cm from my face for quite a while. Was almost like she was lonely and wanted some company (thats how I know it was a female!). We also had a school of fish that followed us around for 20 minutes, probably seeking protection from some sharks... It's great to know that I will come back here for more work with NOAA in time.

A little bit of Science

April 21st
Hammerhead shark. One of the highlights during the cruise. Image NOAA NCCOS.
Cruise is over. Arrived to the Coast Guard Base in San Juan Yesterday. Today we have had Kids day and me and Will have, somewhat tired, been helping kids to try out survival suits in the blazing sun all morning. In a few hours we are both leaving to the nearby Island Culebra for a few days of beach life and slow pace, can't wait! 
Multibeam backscatter data showing the seafloor texture and the reefs. The different
sized points on top show individual fish of different sizes derived from the EK 60
fisheries acoustics . Pretty cool stuff, finally know where the big guys are hiding!
Got some images/results from the last three weeks work on the Marine Grand Reserve Area that we have been mapping. I have mainly been working with the draft habitat maps that we create on site in order to plan our daily ROV dives. Once that is done I spend lots of time staring at the video live feed and all the cool stuff we find down there for the rest of the day. Back at the office we will bring all the information together to create maps with information about the seafloor and the biological cover to support better management and resource planning, its pretty awesome if you ask me.

A big School of Jacks. Image NOAA NCCOS  
Marine debris, still fishing and trapping lobsters.  Image NOAA NCCOS
Juvenile Lion fish - an invasive species  that are taking over in
many of the deep water coral areas we found
Lionfish hanging out. Image NOAA NCCOS
One of few really nice reefs with life coral that we found. Image NOAA NCCOS
Nurse Shark! Image NOAA NCCOS
Lots of things hiding in the reef
Bridge crew looking out for Humback Whales breaching in the area. 
The Chief! Tim Battista ready to abandon ship. 
As if it wasn't hot enough already...
Mike enjoying the last sunset of the cruise.
Definitely will miss this part of ship life... 
Now get me that Hammock!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Vacation or work? Confused..

Poor victim of a traffic incident in early
morning. Possibly due to drinking
Sipping a Cuba Libre in an almost empty salsa bar in old San Juan to help wrap up the last week for you before we go out on the still quite stormy ocean again tomorrow morning. Love the vibe in this town and got some good salsa dancing in the other day after almost 4 years of hold up.
Keeping it simple like life in the Caribbean - Last week in pictures:

Mapping. Learning reef fish. Driving ROV. Severely sleep deprived. Good times.
Sunrise. Humpback whales spurting at distance. 
Crew rest day and a planned VIP event on the 13th brought us back to San Juan again.
Playing pool and eating out with the science party
Continued in a blur of bars and alley get aways. 
Got even blurrier.. Mike experiencing a true local get down by local grandma. 
Finally a day at the beach. Rain poring down. 
Will with a fine rose he found on the local gay beach
(judging by the men in G string standing in the bushes)
VIP day. Lots of local important people lurking around the ship.
I was elected photographer  for the day.
Little blurry but at least they are all in there...
My shift college Mark posing in his finest uniform in front of our pretty picture screens 
Another posing photo in front of the ROV
We got 24 mapping in before the storm hit us with rain and wind.
Time to take cover, just as we got started!
10 happy people in a Van 
Weather standby - surfs up! 
Local surfer 
Sun set session at Rincon point break on the west coast of Puerto Rico. SWEEET!
Me and my sweet SurfBetty. Nothing wrong with pink colors and hearts.
Will in denial that a new day has started,
with evidence of the late night behind him.. 
Pretty good spot for some cornflakes, fired up for a last surf session in ealry morning.
Taking a well needed run in old San Juan a few hours ago. This little assembly
of houses outside the walls is supposedly a quite dangerous ghetto, dating back to
the time when the poor people had to live outside the protective walls. Now days
it's hard to imagine as it holds the best view in town, but it is still quite poor here.
I mostly found smiling people and great views on my run through though. 
In one week it is time to hit the beach again. I almost feel some sort of guilt.
That could also be the rum speaking.  Not to bad down here after all.
Now we work.