Monday, May 31, 2010

Back in Hawaii......for 5 days anyway.....

So i'm back in Hawaii for a short time, on friday I leave for a conference in Iceland, so have a butt load of work to do, including making my two posters to take to that conference. Luckily today is a holiday though, so it'll be peaceful and quiet at work, perfect environment to get a ton done. I'm hoping to be done with at least one poster today, and to do all my travel documents and paperwork for the last and coming travel.

I'm also doggy sitting for Jenny and Doug, so have two puppies sitting at my feet right now wanting their breakfast. It's 6am, so i'm going to make them wait another hour.....if I can stand the drool! Jenny's dad has been sick for a long time, and last wednesday went into the hospital, so Jenny, Doug and Hannah all went over to Oregon. Yesterday he passed away peacefully. So i'm thinking a lot of one of my favorite families, including Aunty Mary who lives on the Cape and I got to catch up briefly with last week before she headed to Oregon.

Needing something to occupy my brain while too jetlagged to work yesterday, I started on these little fellas. I want to make a mobile for a friend who's baby is due in September, and thought I could make little crochet animals using amigurumi techniques. These two are my "practice" ones, which will be awaiting little Hannah when she returns.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

In the Hole

Woods Hole that is. Arrived here on Saturday, and am already having to start to think about leaving on Friday. It's one of those things, no matter how much time I set aside to visit the Hole, it is never enough. So many way to ambitious work goals for this week too, so far i've only ticked a few off, maybe some more tomorrow and thursday. We'll see. So far i've -

- got my dry suit qualification (all be it in a VERY leaky dry suit on the first dive!)
- finished up some budgets, still have to submit those tonight
- had the first of a few pre-cruise meetings for next years Antarctic adventure
- organized (at least some of) the Iceland trip
- met up with many friends
- met up with SEA folks about some adjunct type work (working a cruise a year potentially gaining 3 months of salary - a huge help when having to find your own salary)

The main ones yet to be touched are primarily papers, and tomorrow i'm meeting a student all day if necessary, so hopefully that'll be ticked off a little at least....

A mock up of the inside of the new Alvin submersible. Alvin is being slowly replaced with parts to be able to go deeper (at the moment it only goes to 4500m) and go longer and more efficiently. The first step is to replace the sphere, the main body of Alvin. So the new Alvin body (to arrive sometime next year) is going to be slightly larger than the old one, have 6000m depth capability and is going to be configured somewhat like the above - spacious!

The main meaning to my being - corals! Deep sea ones to boot, these are from Iceland!

And of course, relaxing with friends, G&Ts and some beautiful views across to Martha's Vineyard.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Last day in Canada!

One work visa....

.....and one Beaver Tail....!


Some wanderings from Ottawa, this afternoon I should be getting my passport back, so we'll be headed back towards New Hampshire tomorrow - woo hoo!

We went on a boat tour of the river, which was beautiful and relaxing!

Yesterday we went to Gatineau Park, which is a gorgeous 150 acre park, literally 10 minutes from the city. Lots of hiking trails and old houses.

Some flowers in the Kingswood Estate, beautiful english style gardens.

Sitting on a bench watching a waterfall after a short hike, Kate, Cheryl and me!

Tulips are still in bloom, and still beautiful!

Covered bridge in Wakefield, where we had a wonderful all organic dinner. Some kids were jumping into the river from the bridge. From the yells, I think it was cold.

I love the architecture of the covered bridges.

And you can't come to Canada without seeing baby Canada geese!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Oh Canada!

Wow, it has been quite a week! I left Maine on friday, stopping by Bowdoin to meet my new PhD student, then to Kate's ready for the drive up to Ottawa. I spent most of Saturday sleeping, i'm totally exhausted and needed it desperately, it's been a whirlwind month, and a super long and stressful week of interviewing. I'll fill you in on how that went later, today i'm too tired!

Today we drove to Ottawa, and it's been a glorious day. I've loved catching up with Kate, and we got here around 4pm, just in time to have a short wander, eat some food, have a gin and tonic, and now we're hanging out watching TV before bed. Tomorrow i'm headed to the embassy at 8am, and our other friend Cheryl is arriving for 4 days of Can-eh-dian fun! Hopefully by midday it'll just be sit and wait for my passport to come back to me.

Parliament square.

It's tulip festival time!

More Maine

From Pemaquid point, just down from where I was staying.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Visit to the Darling

I'm on day 4 of the 4 day interview, and it's been a whirlwind. No day has been overly busy with meetings, but it's just been chock full of meeting new people, seeing the labs and space and just getting to know the area. It's a beautiful area, even though i'm on interview, just being in a setting like this puts me at ease. I don't know how it's going, I think well, but I also don't want to get my hopes up. It's a position I would like, but the funding is so unknown I don't know if it's something I could take even if offered. We'll just have to see.

Tomorrow i'm driving up to Kate's house, and then on Saturday we're driving to Canada, for the work visa interview portion of this trip!

The lower campus of the Darling Marine Center, as seen from the dock. There are just 8 researchers in residence here, so it's a wonderfully small group of great scientists.

The upper campus (a ten minute walk up a dirt road), this is the building I am staying in. Upper campus is primarily admin buildings, with a couple of labs.

The center has 150 acres to it's name, and in it lots of trails and tracks, and even a cemetery in the woods! It's been a little wet and chilly, but I did wander some of the trails on sunday when I arrived, and saw some beautiful old stone fences.

Bench mark by the sea.

One of the schools research vessels.

Now that, is a bird house!

Sunday, May 9, 2010


I'm here, and even mostly on East Coast time. Yesterday I drove more miles than I do in a fortnight on the islands! I got into Boston at 10am, then went to meet a friend for brunch before the 3hr drive up to Maine. This is Amal. Amal and I were friends back in Saudi Arabia. We haven't seen each other, or until recently even heard from each other, since 1990. She just finished her PhD in chemistry in Boston. Small, small world. We met up in a restaurant and the first thing we both said to each other was how "the same" we both looked! I wish i'd known she was so close when I lived here, we both moved to the area around the same time. Would be fun to hang out more, hopefully again soon.

Tomorrow, the interview starts. Yikes! Today i'm going to go for a drive around, check out the surrounds.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Outta here....

Well, the week has crept up. Tomorrow i'm off - Maine - Canada - Woods Hole. It's going to be a whirlwind three weeks.

Today was a good last day. This morning my student Daniel took me out diving, to get me back into practice, as there is a good chance that i'll be taking a dry suit course while i'm in Woods Hole. It was great, I hadn't been since I qualified last July, and Daniel is a really experienced diver, so it went smoothly, I picked up right where I left off, jogged my memory and now feel far more comfortable about jumping into way cooler waters.

Then I finished up a bunch of tasks at work, came home, did laundry, cleaned the kitchen and bathroom, packed and am now about to vacuum (we had a termite bloom last night again - so I have termite wings all over my apartment). This is all while checking in on the mess that is the UK election so far......

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Lazing on a Sunday Afternoon

Sundays always are hard for me. A large part of me wants to jump out of bed and do something active - go for a run, do a long hike, swim several laps to the flag and back at Kaimana beach. The other side of me just wants to stay in bed, to rest after a busy week, catch up on sleep, email, web doodling and maybe even an episode or two of my latest Netflix addiction. My Gemini tendencies I guess. The trouble is Sunday is just not long enough to do both!

Today the lazy side won out. I had every intention of trying to do something active today, and maybe I will squeek in a trip to the gym (though i'm doubtful). This week has just been too exhausting, and I've had a cold since Monday which is showing no signs of going away, and I need to kick it before I fly on friday.

So today a "Lazy Sunday". And it's a good thing I didn't get too motivated early this morning, as about an hour ago the rains came down, and right now it feels like a train is going over my roof it's coming down so hard. Makes having a lazy sunday a little easier on the sole though.