Saturday, February 27, 2010

A Day in the Life (of a marine biologist)

(with apologies to the Beatles)

Woke up at half past five,
Got in the car and started to drive.
Crossed over the hills and headed down
And looking around,
We noticed we were there.
Got on the boat and dropped our lures,
Caught two squid, they weren't mature.
Made our way back home, another eight-hour drive,
And by the time we arrived,
It all felt like a dream . . .

Not too surprisingly, I was seasick, but not as ill as that one time. I managed to keep my squid jig in the water, dropping down to the bottom and cranking up to the surface over and over as I gazed beseechingly at the horizon.

Man, we fished the heck out of that ocean. We just didn't catch much.

I'd talked two other marine biologists into joining me as customers on a commerical sport fishing expedition. The captain and crew were great fun, and just about as doggedly determined as we were, although the enthusiasm of the non-scientist customers waned as hours passed with little success.

One of the biologists came from a lab in La Jolla; the other was a colleague from my home institution and did the whole trip with me, starting and ending in Monterey. We took her wonderful new car Valentine, whose front seats make very serviceable beds to curl up in at a rest stop off I-5 from four to six o'clock in the morning, when the fog is as thick as the radio static obscuring Fresno's classic rock station.

To sum up:

936 miles, 27 hours (total trip time), 5 hours (fishing time), 11 anglers, 4 hook-ups, 2 landed squid, 0 mature females.

BUMMER. I was really hoping to do more of this.

1 comment:

  1. It is just great to be in a career where there is an opportunity to travel and take part of these adventures. Sounds like a cool job!

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