Guess what day it is? GUESS WHAT DAY IT IS!?! HUMP DAY (and hump week, actually). Also, today held the 100th focal video of the season!!!
Time to crack the champagne, or rather, the homebrewed cloudy hard cider and elderberry hooch. That means we have about…oh, say…carry the one…a WHOLE lot of hours of videos to watch after the holidays. Currently shifting around some things in my budget to purchase this oversized coffee maker I spoke of in an earlier post (ref: The Thesis Maker).
In other news, life goes on in the land of bionic seals (accelerometry and heart rate monitor land, to be exact). Every day is a mix of obs, tag deployments, tag recoveries, rocky trials, and fun (and fun-size candy bars)! Sample sizes are on the up, up, up! I am happy to report that the CAPARS are performing beautifully (self high-five…NICE!) and seem to be quite durable with even the longer deployments of about 2 weeks. Not only has our gear been coming back in primo condition, except for one who took her heart rate monitor on a deep diving trip, the patches themselves are surprisingly durable to the grime and grit of the colony.
Technology is not always on our side though. Another aspect of field work is troubleshooting when things don’t go well. Occasionally, we find that a software update gleaned in the rare moment of good internet connection has decided that a previous working program is no longer willing to communicate. Other times, the battery of a laptop may pretend it’s fully charged when it is not. Or an ON button refuses to function because it had a bad day and doesn’t feel loved. After a bit of fiddling, a minor panic attack, a few bad words, things usually turn out alright. Unfortunately, most of us field biologists at some point or another, decide that we should swear off technology all together and move to homesteading colony of luddites.
How has the weather been, you ask? Well, I would like to give a shout out to the Caribbean and Gulf Stream for delivering to us, back-to-back tropical cyclone remnants. Does that mean warm, tropical seas? Nope. Let’s just say we are now intimately familiar with many levels of the Beaufort scale, up to about 10 a few days ago (praying to the weather gods we don’t get more than that in the next few weeks – I will sacrifice one of my chocolate bars in your honor). Does that mean we’ve been inside watching movies all day? Definitely not. Work goes on, though it does become a bit more ‘fun’ when battling the wind and rain. Weather can’t stop us! Tea helps though.