Saturday, November 5, 2011

Planes, shuttles, buses, subways, and now a boat.

Pond near Boston Common

Back-up on the assembly line loading the food  

The R/V Knorr getting ready for the cruise
This week I arrived in Boston, MA before heading to Woods Hole to leave on the cruise. I stayed in Boston for the night and got to see Fenway Park, and almost the whole city. I did the Freedom Trail, and relaxed a bit in Boston Common. After my visit in Boston, I took the subway to the bus station, then the bus for two hours to Falmouth, then I smuggled myself on a shuttle to the ferry dock in Woods Hole headed to Martha's Vineyard, and finally I walked to the dock where we were loading our boat, the R/V Knorr. Everyone has now been busy this week loading the scientific equipment we need for our research, as well as securing things around the ship- tying everything down to make sure it doesn't fly about the boat when we go out to sea and start moving a lot with the swells. The Knorr is a large ship, about 200 feet long, and there are a lot of things to take care of before leaving. The crew has to make sure everything on the boat is in working order, the scientists have to set-up and test their equipment, and the most important part is the food we will need on our 36 day cruise has to be loaded. This is a huge job, and one that involved almost everyone who is going on the boat. We all make a huge assembly line from the dock to the kitchen, and pass the food along to each person, and finally to the cook, who places in the pantry and freezers. I have never seen as much food as was loaded onto the boat this time- it took almost 3 hours! This is because our final stop is in Cape Verde, which are small islands and do not have a lot of grocery stores for the cook to buy more supplies before turning around and heading back to Woods Hole. We are leaving tomorrow morning, so the final preparations are being made today and then we are off!

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