Monday, December 10, 2007

Coming soon to the Travel Channel

When you switch on the TV next, and see the screenshot of the famous LA hotdog stand Pink's in the background, don't be surprised to hear Wai exclaiming,"This chili tastes BEANY!!" That's what you get for eating at a famous institution in Hollywood Land.

Just landed this morning, and changed the initial plan of going to Joshua Tree National Park immediately cos 1) I'm still recovering from this damned cold that Steve passed to me (it has noe progressed to the coughing stage), and 2) we were damn exhausted from the fieldwork, illness, 12 hour car ride, trying to finish homework madly and pack the night before, plus the flight was a little delayed due to fog in Wilmington. By the time we picked up the rental car (another story there, and it's a PT Cruiser!! That's so funny...), it was close to noon.

Slumming it out at the cheapest hostel in LA which provides all sorts of free food. For one night, I'm willing to overlook the fact that I have to flush the shared toilet by plunging my hand into the cistern and pulling the snapped cable of the lever. But I think on my return trip I shall stay at the beach...

Actually didn't do very many touristy things today. Ate at Pink's, drove crazily around looking for a way up to the Griffith Observatory, drove some more looking for a grocery store and a place to buy a battery charger, and yep, exhausted again. Even feel too lazy to go out and get dinner...But I guess we better get well fed, JTNP looks pretty darn cold from the weather forecasts and I want some calories to burn!!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Cold in Key Largo

I was enjoying the Key Largo weather last week, it was sunny and the water was a manageable 26degC. Suddenly this week evening temperatures dipped such that people around here started wearing their fleeces, and the water temp is now a frikking 24degC. Have resorted to wearing 2 wetsuits to keep warm underwater, but the wind on the surface is...brrrr..... The whole dive rack area smells strongly of pee and I've started bringing a towel on board as a wrap between dives. Hopefully would be able to keep my immune system up and stave off an impending chill as we finish up our last 2 days here!

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Notes from Key Largo

Today we had our first break day for this mission, after 5 straight days of diving. For a putative (my new word of the week...) break day, we sure did a lot. Woke up at 5.30am to accompany Wai as she sent Joe to the Miami airport, then went around Miami Beach a little. Came back feeling a little hammered, since I spent 3 hours the night before plugging away for my Stats final, and had a beer at Sharkey's to unwind afterwards. The rest wanted to go to Key West so grabbed my camera and headed out again, except for Tim who wanted to stay back and write. Felt a smidgen of guilt thinking about my climate change paper...but hey, it's Key West. So it's 10.35pm, and I feel like going to bed already. So much for a productive Sunday.

It's going to be a big day tomorrow! Pulling in my Mycale fragments to see if any of them have been eaten. Fed a persistent Grey Angelfish some cut Mycale during the last dive so feeling vaguely optimistic about things. Rather miraculously, with the exception of Monday, we have had good weather so far, and 3-4 dives each day. This leaves me with one more survey, a couple of collections, a mapping dive, and maybe an Alizarin staining day left for the mission. Super duper. Haven't really been taking photos, mostly just concentrating on work. Well, and my housing leaked during the last dive too! Am upset, but camera still appears to work. Shall try again tomorrow. Now, to sleep!