The fact that I didn’t manage to find time to even squeeze together a blog post describes the state of my life in the past two weeks. I flew to Kuching with about 15kg of excess baggage, on top of my 30kg allowance, and set up my equipment in the lab there for a week before flying to Kota Kinabalu and doing the same for another 4 days. We’re smack in the middle of the main SHIVA campaign; the campaign aircraft is flying every few days taking measurements, the campaign ship (the RV Sonne) is mid-cruise from Singapore to Manila, and I was taking part in the ‘local boat cruises’ – short trips from the coast out to the RV Sonne to extend their sampling into the coastal zone.
It’s been interesting to not only take part in the science but in the campaign as a whole. Working under campaign conditions means you approach your science in a much more intense fashion. To make the most of the short time you have data needs to be worked up ASAP (late nights and heated debates) to direct the work of the next few days. Work also needs to be adaptable, usually I like things to be ‘just so’ but here I had to accept perfection was not going to happen on 5 hours sleep, a rocking boat and unfamiliar conditions. Difficulties aside, and it was hard, I worked with some new and fantastic people, laughed a lot (even through the seasickness), survived on M&Ms and the odd coffee, gave several seminars, visited several different universities, saw amazing things including sea snakes, jelly fish and a quick glimpse of a dolphin.
Such a large campaign across so many locations needs effective communication between different scientists and sites and in the evenings I ploughed through the online Wiki, and my dubious editing skills, to update others and myself.
I could write more, but it’s been so beautiful out on the boats I thought I’d just say it in pictures, enjoy!