Hello all, just to introduce myself, my name is Jessica Snyder and I’m an undergrad at ECU and this is my first time on a research boat.
The most exciting news I want to report first of all before I go on to say anything else is, with help from the crew, We collected sea nettles today! This is one of the reasons I was sent all the way from ECU in Greenville, NC! And there was much doubt if there would be sea nettles in the Bay due to the unusually low salinity in the water. But so far the sea nettle collection count is a whopping 8. There is still heaps amount of time left to fulfill our need of only 14 for me to take back to ECU. Hopefully the next time I catch some I will be a little bit smarter and wear 2 gloves to prevent from getting jelly fish sting on my face from touching the jelly then touching myself. Lesson learned on that experience, however the sting only lasted a couple of minutes and was gone. So, if anyone was wondering, it did not call for urine on the face to relieve the sting (if that myth is even true).
My first working day was a success. Waking up at 5:30 AM was not as bad as I imagined due to the resting day on Tuesday where I got to Catch up on some reading and get some R and R from the long travels I had to endure all day Monday. We then had frequent breaks throughout the 12 hour day which allowed us to cool off from the sweltering sun. Among the things I got to experience today are z tows and z traps where we collected copepods and jelly nets where we collected ctenophores. We also collected ctenophore larvae that we counted under a microscope. So, today has been a success, learned a lot of great things and got to work with some awesome people.
Now onto some things about the oh, so exciting, boat life. First, I would like to begin with props to our Ecuadorian Chef, Paul, who makes some amazing food! So far we’ve enjoyed gyros, pork chops, and amazing chicken that falls right off the bone. We definitely will not be going hungry on this boat. There’s what seems to be a never ending supply of ice cream, a candy drawer, and sweets scattered all around the dining room. If we ever happened to be stranded on a deserted island (I don’t think there’s any around the CB Bay, so no worries) then I think we could all survive happily for a couple of weeks.
Some advice I wish I could have given myself prior to packing was to add more t- shirts since you sweat through your shirt a couple hours into your shift, more socks (stupidly I only packed 2 to last me the whole week, apologies to my roommates), and more suntan lotion to steer clear from the odd tan lines we are all inevitably going to have anyways.
This week is going to be interesting, insightful, and a great learning experience! I really appreciate the opportunity to be a part of this and I’m really excited for the upcoming days!!