I’m there. I’m ready to draw the rest of the f*cking owl.
This week, I’m heading off to do a research cruise out in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. On Thursday my grad student (Juliana) and I will arrive at the ship, in Mexico. We will have a few errands to run before the ship leaves shore; to help with this, Juliana has been instructed to learn to ask the following question in Spanish: “Do you have fresh chicken livers, never frozen?”. (Not kidding. We need this as a control for one of our experiments.)
Once the ship starts steaming out into the wild blue yonder, Juliana and I will spend two or three frantic days unpacking 13 crates of science gear and turning a bare room on the ship into a functioning research lab, except all the equipment needs to be tied down to the countertops so it does not go flying if we hit weather, which it looks like we will, since this is the tail end of storm season in the Eastern Pacific. Science on a stormy sea is … an adventure ….on one stormy trip I rode an 800 lb piece of equipment like a bucking bronco while ratcheting it to a wall. Please do not tell this story to my mother.
The reference to the owl reflects the fact that we’ve spent the last year preparing for this trip–troubleshooting new high pressure gear, working through new experimental procedures, filling out lots of paperwork, packing all the science gear and running through everything over and over and over again in our heads–did we pack everything we need?–because if we forgot anything, there’s no place to go get it once the ship is out in the middle of the ocean.
So, yes, we are ready to draw the fucking owl.