Surrounded by Awesomeness

posted Jul 6, 2012, 7:22 PM by Shannon Casey   [ updated Jul 11, 2012, 12:43 PM by Kirk Sato ]

Well, Hello! I’m here again. To be honest for the last couple of days I’ve been thinking about what to write next. I was wondering if I should touch more on the science that I am doing, or probably talk more about just my daily life here on board. After having the chance of chatting for a good couple of hours with some of my mates, I realized that this cruise is a whole lot more than just learning a great deal about San Diego’s underwater wonders.  

Some of us have been playing cards during our free time; pretty cliche don’t you think? On a ship, playing cards, I guess we’re pretty close to being real life pirates! Anyway, it has been pretty fun hanging around new people and enjoying the little moments we have to relax. Because believe it or not, there is never a dull moment on this 24-hour-a-day operating research vessel. Every day there is something to do: sorting, helping with the CTD, deploying and recovering devices, working with the multicore, labeling, seep-searching, underwater monitoring, or following the live feed from the ROV.

I am really happy to be working with Carlos; he is one of the funniest people I have ever met. He gets pretty serious when we’re sampling, but once in a while he cracks a joke and makes me laugh so hard that I don’t mind working on seafloor bacteria samples at 3 a.m. 


Photo: Elvira (right) and Svenja help Carlos extract samples from a seafloor sediment core.


Photo: Elvira is happily drawing inspiration from
everything around her on the R/V Mellville.

I feel really blessed to be here. Everyone is so incredible! I have a list of adjectives that I don’t think even begins to describe the awesomeness that the Melville is carrying right now. For starters, this ship is packed with brilliance and creativity! And I haven’t met anyone who is not a good team player. Everybody is definitely unique, funny, nice, and did I mentioned awesome already? We have people with non-profits, others with stories about adventures around the world, and some with life lessons that have inspired me to work harder for what I want. No doubt, after this cruise I have tons of reasons to keep pushing harder to eventually become the best researcher that I could possibly be.  

We still have four more days to go. Even though I am going to miss being at sea, I’m excited to go back and start working on the samples we have collected. Oh well, back to work! Sea time is precious and we have to make it count!

-- Elvira Hernandez Lopez, UC San Diego undergraduate student

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