The E/V Nautilus is steaming away, bound for 20 km off the coast of San Diego for its first ROV dive site – the Del Mar methane seep.
After a busy day getting on board yesterday, receiving uniform parts, meeting the fellow members of the Corps of Exploration and sweating through making my bunk bed (a most comfortable mattress, but awkward to crawl around and tuck sheets onto), there was a little time left for cruising San Diego on foot. Oh, and I did my first live interaction with the Aquarium of the Pacific.!
My fellow SCFs are Karen Romano Young, an Artist at Sea and our Lead SCF who sailed last year as well. She is wonderfully organized and a wealth of knowledge from the smallest detail to the biggest big picture of our work here. Stephanie Toro, the third SCF is a teacher in Houston, TX right now and originally from Norfolk, VA. Stephanie wears many hats as a high school science teacher and faculty member and PhD candidate in Curriculum Instruction with an emphasis on science at University of Houston. The three of us sat in the studio (the room where our interactions usually take place from) and started drinking from a fire hose of information (lovingly referred to since the March SCF Workshop). Karen did an interaction with the Houson Museum of Natural Science and then asked if either of us wanted to jump in on the Aquarium of the Pacific chat 20 minutes later. I put my snazzy E/V Nautilus polo on and mic’ed up! It went pretty well, Karen and I each answered a few questions and it was great to get in the chair and feel the flow of a conversation between people of all ages excited about ocean exploration!
Interactions can take place any day, any time – the ideal day and time will line up with the production team in Rhode Island at the Inner Space Center so that “B-roll footage” can play with our voice narrating and the audience has something to look at such as images of animals or maps of where we’re going.
This morning we left the port of San Diego at 0900 and all 45 members of the Corps of Exploration sat atop the Monkey Deck as we cruised out of port and rounded the corner of Point Loma. Today will be several more safety meetings and a muster in which all hands will do a safety drill and bring their lifejacket and hat up to the main deck so the Captain can inspect and give general reminders. Our whiteboard in the studio has a colorfully written schedule to keep track of the busiest day of interactions yet (7 in one day) divided between Karen, Stephanie and I.
Lastly, my watch time is 8-12. This is ship time (currently Pacific Daylight Time), so I will be in the control van with 4-8 other Corps members when the ROVs are diving, both from 8am-12pm and 8pm-12am, and I will monitor our website’s chat box of incoming questions, narrate the activity going on for the screens the public are looking at and serve as a moderator between scientists, ROV pilots and engineers, video and data loggers and guests in the van to keep interesting dialogue going over the air for you fine people to listen in to.
I am STOKED to finally be on board. Please send me or the other SCFs your questions anytime you logon to www.NautilusLive.org and there is a green light over the chat box, we can see your questions and will be happy to integrate the answers into our discussions! The first dive begins this afternoon, make sure to sign up on Twitter or Facebook to receive dive alerts!