We sail early tomorrow morning. I haven’t met everyone yet, but those who I have met seem great. Everyone has the friendly excitement that comes with knowing you are about to share an intense experience that you are eager to get started with.

We leave from San Diego and it will probably take 4-5. Days to get to out first site. I haven’t had that long of a steam out before. It will provide lots of time for organization, planning, and getting to know people. The trip back will be the same length, which means that we really only have about 5 days out thee to collect and process all our samples – yeesh, no pressure! I’ve got lots planned: two different experiments measuring how fast the microbial community is fixing carbon and nitrogen, and collecting lots of different types of samples for DNA and RNA extractions as well as for different types of microscopy, I’m also trying to bring back water (and the microbes living in it) for more experiments back in lab. If I get all this work done it will provide samples to 5 different people, which will make me feel pretty efficient!

After spending the morning at the Mexican consulate getting visas to be in mexican waters, I’m about to check out of the hotel and head to the ship to unpack and start figuring out where everyone is going to get all their work done. It’s going to be cozy – lots of people doing different types of work in a spall space, but I’m sure we’ll make it work. Luckily all 15 of my boxes arrived safely. I have two more coming today, so fingers crossed about that. Seem other groups were not so lucky with items broken, stuck in customs, or just not showing up.

More soon!

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These are the CTDs (conductivity, temperature, and depth) that we will be using to collect the water that is the main object of my research on this trip.

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