Anyhow, the official Mare Incognitum blog is back up and running here, but as many of you have notice I quite enjoy writing so continuing doing so is the plan!
I'm hoping to be able to give an update on what's happening in some of the other groups sooner rather than later, but we in group 4 have been pretty busy of late, so there hasn't been too much time to catch up on the science gossip.
On the other hand, we've been busy because we've been getting stuff done! It's exciting, it's radical, it's awesome! Yesterday was predominantly a AUV day, our job for the day was to run a mission which would map the sea floor of the bay just outside the marine lab. We're doing this for group 3 so that they can correlate some of their findings to specific locations (obviously correlation still isn't causation, but it looks pretty to have maps! - Plus, I love all things spatial so it was quite an exciting mission).
We had group 3 ghosting us for the day so they could see the process we went through to get the mission up and running. The majority of the process being waiting for the wind to calm down, so they got to really experience the whole thing. Waiting, waiting, short periods of action followed by waiting. As our leader (aka lord and master) keeps saying, "Now boring is good".
Though it wasn't actually too cold we still wrapped our young lady in a sleeping bag so she could keep warm and snug whilst waiting.
But, it was not just robots that happened today. Group 3 also have been building a scaffolding of awesomeness which they have attached a time-lapse camera to. This is now sitting out in the sea and taking regular photos of whats happening out there. I believe the plan is for it to be out there for a full 24 hour period. Group 1 is also doing a similar 24 hour measurement off the pier to measure bio luminescence, they have also been doing water column profiles through the day and night.
But that isn't what's happening here, and from my experience isn't what happens in the most of the scientific world. Science isn't the Big Bang Theory with super smart people coming up with brilliant ideas all by themselves. It's a collaboration between people with different skills, ideas and backgrounds. It's discussion and debate and above all it's team work and it takes time and patience.
The things that we're doing we couldn't do by ourselves. We need technicians, boat drivers, divers, administrators and cooks. We need biologists and technologists to work together to solve problems that are going to mean that we can actually do what we came here to do. And that we can hopefully answer some of the questions that we have.
Yesterday we spent much of the afternoon discussing and planning what we are going to do with the AUV tomorrow. This meant extensive discussion of the question that we are asking to ensure that everyone understands it. That's particularly important because we've got people with such different expertises working together. And then we spent just as long going back and forth with different options and ideas, as a group of about 9 or so people. As most people are aware, this isn't a natural environment for an introvert, and it can be challenging and frustrating environment. But at the same time it can also be invigorating, fascinating and is an excellent chance to do some hands on learning.
So the moral of the day was that it's all about team work and working hard so that people with different skills and backgrounds can contribute to something greater than what anyone sitting alone in a lab could do.
In the end we came up with a great plan for the next few days, and if the weather gods play nice we should have some awesome science on our hands!