Friday, July 3, 2009

Fourth Of July in the Hole

I’d love to give you the impression that all we do is work day and night, completely engrossed in the perpetual search for scientific breakthroughs and the subsequent enlightenment that is sure to follow. Unfortunately, I feel obligated to tell you that we do other fun things, too.

This weekend is a perfect opportunity to sit back, relax, and enjoy the cape. We had the day off from work today (Friday), making it a three-day weekend.

Here are just a few of the things that I’ve been doing and plan to do during this weekend:

Ladies Racing at the Yacht Club

While I was on the Nereus cruise, I had time to chat with my shipmates about what they do on cape during the summer. One of these conversations led to my discovery of ladies racing night at the yacht club. I wouldn’t call myself an extremely experienced sailor, but I would say that I’m an avid sailing enthusiast who would like to be on the water more than I have been over the last five years.

(Cape Cod Knockabouts. Image from flickr.)

One of the other women on the cruise had a friend—also a WHOI employee—who was looking for crew for ladies night. I, being a lady, deemed myself qualified and contacted her once in town.

Last night was the first official race of the season. It was raining hard all day but it cleared up and the sun shone down on Woods Hole for the race. We had a lovely sail and I had a fabulous time. I know you all want to know, so I’ll just go ahead and tell you: we won (which was nice). Still, the part that really mattered was that I had a fun Cape Cod experience in the afternoon sun.

(Above: WH Yacht Club)

Friday Night Lectures

I know I said that I was taking this extended weekend to sit back and relax, so you might wonder why this section’s subheading contains the word “lecture.”

The Marine Biology Laboratory of Woods Hole (MBL) hosts a lecture series in the summer. Each Friday, they have a speaker come and give about an hour-long talk about a variety of biological and/or ocean-related topics. Dr. Susan Avery—the director of WHOI—is giving tonight’s talk. It’s titled “Coastal Cities, Coastal Impacts: The Tides They Are A-Changin.” I’m very excited to hear the talk because I feel that issues surrounding human impacts on the coast and the impacts of climate change on coastal living are pertinent to my life. In fact, such issues are pertinent to all our lives since the majority of the world’s cities are coastal.

The Friday lectures are free and generally accessible to audiences with little or no background knowledge. To learn more about the MBL lecture series, check out the Friday Evening Lecture Series Website. They even have podcasts of the talks so you can listen in wherever you are!

The Barn Olympics

The Barn Olympics is a holy event. Okay, fine—that might be hyperbole. But it is really fun.

Each summer a group of WHOI graduate students plan the Olympics for Summer Fellows, Joint Program Students (the grad program that WHOI has with MIT), MBL students, Sea Education Association affiliates… basically anyone who is around the Hole in the summer and somehow engaged in marine science. Last year it was predominantly WHOI kids, though.

Participants form teams of 4 (preferably 2 women and 2 men) and compete in a series of partly serious/mostly ridiculous games and competitive events. The events last summer included a photo scavenger hunt, an abbreviated triathlon, tug-of-war, trivia, dodge ball…the list goes on. Each team has a theme and dresses up. There are, of course, prizes for best costumes, best team name, etc. Our team is called “The interweb,” and we’re in the process of designing some winning costumes.

The Olympics are this Sunday. I’ll be sure to let you know how they go!

I hope you didn’t mind reading about my goofy weekend plans.

Stay tuned for my next entry—“From Seafloor to Shank Lab: an odyssey of ATC and G”… I’ll attempt to keep you entertained while explaining some pretty sciencey things.

Happy Fourth of July! Have a fun and safe weekend!


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