Friday, April 20, 2007

What a Day!!!

A few of you may have noticed a distinct lack of communication from me today. For that I apologize. Today has been one of the most nerve-wracking, up and down days you can imagine.

First: The ship is fine. As you may have read we had a small power issue yesterday (I am not exactly sure what it was) during which we discovered that several of the UPS units, which supply backup power to the bridge, were no longer functioning properly. This being a slightly less than ideal situation, we elected to spend the night cruising off Honolulu so that we could run a small boat to the harbor in the morning to pick up replacement UPS batteries. Some time lost, but nothing major in the long run.

Second: I was experimenting with a new backup program last night. I awoke at about 9 am this morning to find that it had utterly destroyed my hard disk. Everything, nearly 100 GB of data, was gone. My machine started and showed a flashing "?" in place of well ... everything. I was in agony. I had made the decision to leave my backup drive with all my data at home thinking it was not a good idea to have my computer AND backup drive in the same location. Thus why I was trying to make a secondary backup last night.

What was I going to do! Thankfully we were still off of Honolulu and the small boat had not yet returned to the ship. Cristi to the rescue! We were still in cell phone range so I was able to call Cristi who was on the road from Kewalo (my office) to hers. She was just approaching the exit which would lead her to Kailua. She would be able t dash home, grab my backup drive and scream back to the harbor to drop it off with our small boat. But would she have time???

Third: As many of you know I have been in the process of transitioning from a graduate research assistant to a full time employee with the Coral Reef Ecosystem Division (CRED). The offer and paperwork arrived TODAY. Would I have to wait until June to finish the process??

It was decided that a few extra hours would 1) not hurt the mission, 2) would allow the ship to install and test the new UPS batteries, 3) allow me to go by small boat back to shore where I could meet a notary to sign the official papers, and 4) low and behold, give Cristi the time needed to get the backup hard drive to me. The stars have aligned as I imagine they never will again.

I was able to get over to the notary, get the papers signed, pick up the hard disk, and give Cristi one last farewell. It could not have worked out better! After several hours, my computer is back up and running and we are on our way to Wake.

WHAT A START! I can only hope things get less exciting from here.


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