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Barnes Cruise 2008: Dare. Risk. Dream.

Well, today was my first day back from the Barnes cruise. Work picked right back up where I left it (with plenty of samples to analyze on the Fluoromax 4) and it almost feels like I never spent two weeks on a retired icebreaker traveling up and down the Columbia River.

Tawnya drove Jami, Joe, Florian and me to Astoria on the 15th
CMOP crew before boardingCMOP crew before boarding

We spent the first day organizing the lab, and getting familiar with the boat while docked at Merts a little bit outside of Astoria. The dock was on a beautiful stretch of coastline and we saw several bald eagles and swallows flying around. We went out for a trial sample run that afternoon and I learned the filtering routine that soon became second nature for my days on the boat. In short, rinse the vial three times. fill, repeat with the next vial. Even though I became much quicker at filtering as the cruise progressed and even incorporated a cocking gun into the process, I never managed to stop spraying water all over the lab ceiling (and whoever happened to be standing in the doorway, usually Jim the marine tech) when I loaded the syringes I was using to fill each vial.

Ray, the captain, gave us a tour and instructed us in all matters of lab safety. The lab was pretty small, as were our sleeping quarters, but we all managed to work around eachother. We easily could have gotten on eachother's nerves but instead we managed to appreciate eachothers nuttiness. I was a little worried that I wouldnt have anyone to replace Jami and her musical talents on the second leg but David took up the challenge readily.

the labthe lab

Katie and David in the labKatie and David in the lab


I was on the top row of the beds which ended being the good deal in my opinion. I didn't have anyone climbing over me to get into bed at night which was the unfortunate fate of those below me.

I explored Astoria with Jami, Joe, Florian and Brian, our first mate. Astoria is a beautiful little seaside town. There seems to be a thriving tourist and artist community there. I walked up to the Astoria column which had amazing views of the mouth of the river.
View of AstoriaView of Astoria

Garden in AstoriaGarden in Astoria

Astoria BridgeAstoria Bridge

We saw an amazing amount of industry on the water. I realize that most of the goods we see in the US are shipped in from China but seeing massive cargo ships coming in and out of the estuary really bought this fact into perspective.

I got the chance to take a few photos of the scenery during our downtime on the boat
MoonriseMoonriseCoastlineCoastlineSunset and the door of the galleySunset and the door of the galley

In the estuary we spent most of our day chasing the salt wedge and the ETM. On our trip upriver, we took some samples specifically for my project with the wonderful little device Joe and I created shown below

FWA collection deviceFWA collection device

Water was pumped through the white tube into the cage at the outlet which contained cotton. The FWA's (hopefully) adhered to the cotton. We will extract them in the lab and measure them.

Joe was very proud of his pump which was incredibly useful for my FWA device and all our other samples on the cruise
Joe and the pumpJoe and the pump

We sampled up and downstream of various towns as we travelled up to portland and by this pulp mill. Hopefully the pulp mills uses whitening agents that we will find in the water.
Pulp MillPulp Mill

view of portland from the boat

In portland we began the second leg of the cruise. I had an easy day taking a few more FWA samples while everyone was finding their way around the boat.

Katie and MariyaKatie and Mariya

David and the CTDDavid and the CTD

CTD and incubatorCTD and incubator

soon everyone was at home though
Katie coming out of the holdKatie coming out of the hold

Mariya reading in the sternMariya reading in the stern

We made some friends when we docked in Cathlamet on our trip downriver. most notably Rick the dishwasher/lawyer/ emt who kept his restaurant open late so we could play darts. I went for a run around the countryside in Cathlamet. It was at that late hour of the day before sunset when the fading light makes the world look golden. Swallows were flitting around, and I think I saw some of the red winged blackbirds Tawnya told me she sees around her house. Oregon has beautiful wildflowers. Most of the area I ran through was farmland. I'm really glad I was on a boat that docked every night so i not only got the experience of field work during the day but also I had a reason to see some of the little towns along the way that I otherwise would have completely missed.

I got to explore even Astoria with the crew of the second leg. One night we ran into the crew of the Wecoma and we had plenty of sightings of them on the water, (including one encounter where we passed them some extra falcon tubes).
David taking a picture of the WecomaDavid taking a picture of the WecomaWecoma at sunset: (although it's a bit hard to see the Wecoma)Wecoma at sunset: (although it's a bit hard to see the Wecoma)

Katie and Mariya walking to the Astoria columnKatie and Mariya walking to the Astoria column

Anyway, I haven't yet mentioned the crew who were amazing Jim was the marine tech who helped out with the CTD casts. He was sweet man who sent letters (and sometimes the daily comics) to his wife every time we docked. He seemed to be the victim of most of my accidental syringe squirtings but he never complained (although he did tease me). Brian the first mate was very well read and a great conversationalist. He was also quite the talented chef even though he wouldn't admit it. on our last night he made enough fried chicken to feed aother leg of the cruise. Ray was our captain. After our introduction to the boat, I have to admit I was a bit intimidated by his strict manner but I soon realized how friendly he was. We had an ongoing joke that I was the real chief scientist.

Ray and Brian in the WheelroomRay and Brian in the WheelroomJim and the CTDJim and the CTD

anyway, thats all until next week...
Barnes and sunsetBarnes and sunset