I’ve said it before.
But for some reason I keep thinking that (any minute now!) things will get easier and just fall into place.
I was all set to post a blog about yesterday’s field experience and how yet another piece of crucial field gear let us down (Spoiler alert: it was the winch! And that post is still to come). But after today’s misadventures, it seems like small potatoes…
BECAUSE TODAY OUR BOAT TRIED TO SINK.
It was super scary, and I’m currently drinking scotch, watching the sunset, and thanking my lucky stars that Benja and I made it home safely.
It’s possible I’m being a drama queen, but it’s also a damn scary feeling to be out in the middle of the lake with absolutely no hope of rescue. Historically the Big Upwelling Event occurs in the next week, so we’re trying to do daily sonde casts to track the temp changes. We got a late start today because…well, because of a lot of reasons. But again, that blog post is still to come. Suffice it to say that we were on our way back from a cast when all of a sudden the boat slowed considerably and started taking on A LOT of water.
|Floating fins and gas tank|
We stopped so Benja could re-launch the sonde at Site 7, and while in the water, he had a quick gander at the underside of our 60’s era Zodiac. Our conversation went a little something like this:
Benja: HOLY SHIT.
Ellen: Say what now?
Benja: YOU NEED TO COME LOOK AT THIS.
[Generally speaking, nothing really seems to get Benja riled up. But he had that crazy look in his eyes...]
Ellen: Really? I’m cold.
[I had already taken off my wetsuit and didn’t really want to get back in the water. Don’t judge me…]
Benja: ELLEN. GET IN THE WATER.
Ellen: Alright (Inner monologue: Grumble grumble…; this better be worth it…)
So I put on gear and jumped into the water in my swimsuit. BRRRRRRRR…
... and saw that half of the bottom seam THAT HOLDS OUR BOAT FLOOR IN PLACE had come loose. The whole metal support for the floorboards was visible. That. Is. Bad…]
Theoretically Zodiacs cannot sink as long as there’s air in the pontoons. But since the seams don’t seem to be the strongest feature of our Jacques Cousteau-era vessel, there's no good reason to believe the pontoons have long to live either.
We made the executive decision to putt-putt back home, and we were both overjoyed and relieved to be back on solid ground again.
|Nervous giggling...because we're terrified...|
So now we’re down to one functional boat to share between 7 team members for the next 3 weeks.
This should be interesting…