Aquaman actor Adrian Grenier waved hi to me through the viewport yesterday.
Day 3 already! Oh man. Time is flying by. Even Fabien thinks so. As of today, he, Otter and Ryan have been here 19 days, making it one day longer than the longest previous stay in Aquarius. Just incredible.
When I rolled out of bed, every one was already up and at'um, eating breakfast, chatting, and prepping gear for the day. I started pulling on my wetsuit at about 6:30am, meanwhile reviewing with Liz our plan for the dive.
This morning of our dive we collected samples in jars from the plankton traps (described in this previous post), and then stored the jars in a mesh bag that Northeastern divers will pick up in the afternoon. We also adjusted a tripod around a giant barrel sponge. The tripod suspends a sensor above the sponge, and the sensors measures the sponge metabolism.
Met an astronaut, in the water!
On our second dive of the day, from noon to 3pm, we greeted astronaut Clay Anderson in the water. It was unreal. Fabien, Liz and I all shook his hand as he stepped onto the "porch" of Aquarius. We then gave him a tour around the house. A video of his visit is here. There's an interesting New York Times' article about the space and sea: Cosmic Connections in the Deep Sea. Living undersea, I have a new appreciation for our planet as a whole. Both astronauts and aquanauts are willing to live in an alien environment to explore the unknown, which links our cosmic work, whether it be in space or ocean. We are still looking for life in outer space, but there's so much undersea.
During our afternoon dive, Liz and I also used a plankton tow to collect more plankton samples. You can read more about the research we are doing with the Northeastern topside team at their blog, specifically Amanda's post about zooplankton.
Astronauts and Aquanauts on Jacques B'Day
OUTREACH, Great Questions
Skyping with classrooms ... the students have great questions. Credit Elizabeth ten Grotenhuis.
In between research dives, we are Skyping with different groups around the world, spreading the word about how exciting and important the oceans are. Yesterday, I Skyped with the AAT Project and the Birches School (read about my fall visit there) and from the research boat last week. Birches' kindergarten through third grade students asked:
There are more great adorable questions from this group in the fall.
More Grace Under Pressure blog at Aquarius Day 4: Science and Ballet Art Undersea.