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, March 25, 2013


June 26. 
UPDATE! I finally finished the short movie resulting from the films I collected during the trip. It shows life onboard the ship and gives you a brief picture of the science at work. Me and Will collected some unique shots showing the ROV at work among other things. Enjoy!

Original post:

RIP sweet camera. August 2011- 25 March 2013. After 1.5 years of fateful service your partner send you 60 meter deep down in the ocean to explore an unknown shipwreck. You imploded from the water pressure and the failure of a third party lens port that cracked :( I just hope it was quick and painless. O well, I guess I have to upgrade to a lighter, thinner, better version of you. I hope you understand. 

A miracle and more then a little duck tape needed to fix it.
Even the memory card seems to be toasted
On the upside of things Wills camera held for the pressure (phew!) and we got some cool shots of the ROV exploring this previously unknown wreck.
A week ago we went into port for  few days of rest. The first day we had kids from 3 Schools in the Area visit us and learn about the ocean outside their coastline,  the science onboard, and how to drive the ship. Me and Will were assigned with the infamous survival suit training, once they started dancing Gangnam style with the suits on we know we had our success.

Kids Day!
A couple of hours later I picked up a young lady at the airport and we sneaked away for a few days in a small beach town an hours from San Juan. It was pretty great to get off the ship for a few days, and in style too. 
Our view from the Luqielo Sunrise Inn. Conveniently located right by the local surf break.. 
Me and Anna hiking to the top of El Younke Rainforest 1000 m over sea level.
Good to get them feet moving again
Sweet views of the rainforest and the ocean on both sides of the island once the clouds cleared
Not quite as adventurous as hiking in the costa rican rainforest
(nothing that eats you here), still pretty nice
I tried to smuggle Anna onboard to take her with me, but she got
booted off the ship once the sightseeing was done. 
San Juan harbor entrance. 
It's me and the birds again for another 5 days before this years PR ocean mission is over. Please stop snowing in Baltimore (they had a snowstorm today apparently). It is summer now! My friend Fredrik Schenholm might think otherwise, he is in Kamchatka trying to photograph skiing in front of/on a very active volcano at the moment. I highly recommend his blog if you want to take part of some of the action.

Seabirds patrolling our bow for hours waiting for the ship to scare up flying fish,
which they then had for an healthy sushi breakfast

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Just another day

This Juvenile Booby Bird showed no respect for "our" territory, and
promptly made Nancy Foster its home for a day.
I later found him sleeping (and pooping) in a sun chair,
first thinking somebody forgot their feather boa (I know thats a
weird thought, but it was very dark...)  up there and almost picked him up.
It's pretty much the usual suspects out here. The birds, the whales, the sun, the ocean, the science team, the ship crew, the Swede. 
Never leave your camera behind. I should have learned by now. When this Humpback
Whale suddenly surfaced 20 meters from me I had the camera on the other end of the ship.
Managed to get this picture before it disappeared with a waving fin. 
Life on the NOAA Ship Nancy Foster has settled into its daily routines. Eat, eat, eat, watch a movie - repeat. For the Science crew that means seafloor mapping during the nights and ROV diving during the days. My shift ends in the early morning so I sleep until lunch, start my new day with a hefty meal, then check if there is anything exciting going on during the ROV dives, and if not I go up and digest my full stomach on the sun deck when the weather permits (yes, that is almost every day :).
Nick has a trustworthy beard and loves fishing,
needless to say high up on my favorite ship crew list 
Even though we work were we sleep, meaning you are always on call if need be, there is something pretty relaxing about being on a ship and not have to worry about anything except what is going on right here (minus a river of emails) right now. I wouldn't want to do this all the time, but for a change it really is a pretty nice life. On the other hand I have only been to the gym once here. I have found it way too easy to get yet another ice cream instead, or go and snooze away my constantly sleep deprived body. Probably a good thing we are moving into shore in a few days for a break.  

Inspecting one of two small gopro cameras I attached
on the ROV to film some of the action
Aside from the Habitat Mapping work I do onboard I have set out to capture some video from the life onboard (In the wake of my Jan Mayen movie screening in Annapolis I have mistakenly been assigned to be the ship videographer, they seems to be oblivious that I do not have any idea what I am doing). So I have started capturing some of the action on the ship, yesterday I strapped a my gopro camera on the ROV to get some shots of the ROV itself when it was working, turned out to be a great idea, and I even got the camera back in one piece. 
GoPro photo of the ROV working at 30 meters depth
Action in the ROV control room

Sloppy mappers (I am one of them) moving the lawn, i.e. watching multibeam  data come in
Another one of my "great" ideas is to capture time laps photography from different part of the ship. I hide my little camera in various locations to capture the life onboard over the span of a few hours. Not exactly what everyone want when they wake up to get a bit to eat and then realise they are on the candid camera. But what don't you do to get the good shots? Anyway, unless somebody is wise enough to throw my camera over board I will get you guys a little movie of "a day on the Nancy Foster" in due time.

Copy That

Yes, of course we have a golf car
Abandon ship(!) exercise just as I had fallen asleep. The night shift have its perks...
 Two days to we hit port, in a few hours we have some rock and roll weather coming up as we are leaving the shelter of Vieques Island where we have been hiding from the raging seas for the last few days. Time to catch up on that sleep...

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Back on the sunny side

A good place to write when conditions are right
Under-stimulating winter in Bmore = done. Summer = start. It is time for the annual cruise to Puerto Rico. The weathered science team has gathered from various parts of the country to board NOAA Ship Nancy Foster for two 10 day cruises. This time around we are set to map the habitats in a new Marine Grand Reserve on the North East side of the island, a job that we started last year and hope to finish this year if things go as planned (they never do). I somehow managed to sign up for both legs and will hang around down here until the end of the month, I tried to complain to Anna that it was too long on the ship but to no vain (you are going to the Caribbean!). Being a good husband I did not leave her all alone with her exames, she has one of our best friends, Fia, visiting and will also come down here for a couple of days next weekend. That I look forward to.

Arriving a few days early I got a couple of good days cruising around western PR to visit a NOAA colleague and his wife, and also to get some surfing in before settling in to life on the small space of the ship. The girl at the car rental shop quickly convinced me that the 4 door car that I had ordered had been "upgraded" to a 2 door Smart Car, its a wonder what damage a smile can do to your brain. I must admit though that cruising with the tiny car on the highway was pretty exciting.

I was lucky with a nice ground swell, found a new spot to surf on the north west shore and finally got some rides after a long cold winter deprived of quality surfing and skiing. So relaxing! 

Rob and his wife Glenis showed me a great time, and also took me around to a coffee festival and the local beaches and bars.  Once back in San Juan we headed out to sea after a long evening at the local bars. This was punished with heavy seas, hangover mixed with seasickness at the same time as we had to do a lot of work. Some days you pay to be down here...

Tim and Chris warming up with some deck action working with the
ROV that we use to film the seafloor down to 300 meter depth
 Now this guy is on the way, bringing 5 meter waves on Saturday. That should get exciting. Also, our main engine is broken at the moment.

To be continued...