Learning to Drive the Boat: the Start of Chief Sci Training

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the terminology used for scientific, research cruises; a chief scientists is the de facto boss of the science party and coordinates the research plan with the captain and crew of the ship. This role often incorporates traits from other positions such as diplomate (between crew and science party), translater, and decision maker into one thankless role. Since this position requires skills outside of those which are traditionally taught in graduate programs, the National Science Foundation has sponsored a program to train young and advancing scientists. This Chief Scientists Training Cruise (CSW) involves seminars...

Call me Ishmael: Seahab

Living on a ship for three weeks means that you pick up a few tidbits of knowledge such as the difference between tieing a bend and a hitch, but a term that is rather unique to sailing on National Science Foundation (NSF) vessels is Seahab. All research vessels control the supply of alcohol on board, and thus the intake of alcohol while at sea (personal caches are not permitted). Many ships will serve a beer with dinner or provide a coupon for a drink at some other time. NSF has taken the extra step of making all of their vessels...

Cycling down to St Mark’s Lighthouse

Last weekend I decided to try out a new cycling route since I’m not finding the St Mark’s rail trail as novel as I once did. Now don’t get me wrong: I do enjoy the route quite a bit, especially since it makes for a great way to get away from some of the less friendly roads of Tallahassee. So my plan was to take the rail trail down to the BIg Bend Scenic Highway before jumping off and finding my way to the St Marks Wildness Reserve. My goal for this trip was to get all the way to the...

Kayaking the Sopchoppy River

Catalyzed by my successful visit to Lake Talquin yesterday (post), I decided to make a trek up the Sopchoppy river in the Apalachicola National Forest this morning. I had never really ventured into the park before and my only experience with it has been my cycling visits to the St Mark’s Rail Trail(1)If you are looking for a great day trip, I highly recommend this rail trail and St Marks. so this was an exciting adventure. Since I didn’t know much about the river including flow and size, this was a rather unpredictable foray into river kayaking. On the way...

All about Vibration

I just finished reading a great, short article by Jan Heine in the January edition of Adventure Cyclist and thought I should share it. While most articles in a magazine about bike riding and touring would not be a great fit for the content here, this one is a bit different. Jan surveys the causes and implications of road vibration on bicyclists by talking about some of the physics behind it. This article is representative of a genre of journalism that I don’t see very often but would love to experience more often wherein the reader is allowed to learn...

Harbor to the Bay Charity Ride

Today I woke up a bit sore, quite thirsty, and completely satisfied. Yesterday I successfully rode my bike from Boston, down through the cape, and out to Provincetown and was accompanied by a cohort of fellow riders and a near army of kind-hearted volunteers and organizers. This was the Harbor to the Bay annual charity bike ride set up by, and in the memory of, Michael Tye who passed away from AIDS before the first ride in 2003 [1]. I am proud to say that I had the honor of riding in this years ride–a ride which has raised nearly...

Pinnacle Ultra – Narrative

And there I am, skipping through the woods on a particularly rocky descent. With each passing moment the bagpipe is getting softer and softer until it’s lost completely in the autumn foliage. I pass through a particularly yellow section, a stark contrast from the bright red oak leaves that just surrounded me. Perhaps this is a patch of beech, or is it elm? I’ll have to look it up when I get back home, but for now I still have many miles to go. So, what was I doing skipping through the woods; and more importantly, why was I skipping?...

Pinnacle Ultra – Part 1

The Pinnacle Ultra was a trail race I participated in last weekend up in Newport NH. The race itself was a 50k (31 mile) trail through the woods and mountains around the Newport High School. Due to its timing in the season, the foliage all through the area was in a beautiful state of flux. Often I found myself struck by the sudden transition from a patch of yellow to red to green all in the course of a quarter mile. Gorgeous! But on to the topic I had in mind to discuss. I had an inkling at the time,...

Peace Corps Interview Day

Today was, in my mind, the first real Peace Corps step. Rather than some electronic form and application that I had to fill out, today’s step was much more physical and concrete. Today was the day of my Peace Corps interview. The interview is well known and is expected to be both lengthy and involved since it is this process that the recruiter and the organization learns about you both mentally and personally. Anyone can look good on an application, but it is harder (but not impossible) to fake an interview. It is also at this point when you get...