Preparing for the end

Well it has definitely been an interesting time here at Hatfield.  We have had some bright sunny and very warm days and then it changes completely to a fog bank that makes me unable to see even the bridge that crosses over the Yaquina Bay.  This past week I did get 2 days off like regular and during that time I slept, watched olympics, did laundry and planned out more of my vacation.  At work, I got to meet some more amazing volunteers and visitors that made my time here much more fun.  I got to do some awesome aquarist work where I got to inject lemon juice (acidic) into aplasia which is a coral invasive.  Doing that, taught me a lot about how to keep a tropical fish aquarium clean and healthy.  I also was able to siphon the tank by myself, which meant I got to change the tropical water and decide how to treat it correctly.  I was also able to see Auroras beak! It was a spectacular thing to see and I may never see an octopus beak again, but now not only do I have memories of it, I also have pictorial evidence as a reminder of my sensational summer here at Hatfield.

My wave tank though is at a standstill right now.  Both my mentors and I are now at the next stage of progress that will require a lot more than just signs and sand.  We need to start making real stainless steel tables and other items that are more than I can do myself.  Which means mainly that time is now an even larger factor, but I’m hoping for all the best.  I still get to see all the different things kids imaginations make with my freshwater wave erosion tank and that still poses some fun challenges for my job.  Ocean quest keeps getting better and better as I get more and more comfortable with it.  I also get to hear more stories about the Mt. St. Helen’s eruption in 1980 which gives me more facts to talk about as the presentations keep going.  People told me how they had to wrap their air filters in toilet paper every few miles to make sure they didn’t breathe in ash as they drove to work each day.  Some said they still has ash from 1980 in the woods of their backyard. It’s crazy learning all about the different experiences people have had with volcanos and earthquakes especially when they’ve had experiences all through their lives.  Then, estuary walks are always amazing because no matter how many people you have or the age differences between the people I still always have an amazing time and I learn more and more after each estuary tour.   Also, each estuary tour is different since the tide is different from being a low tide or a high tide, and of course the people change each day.

The main things I have to look forward to are a five day weekend which involves me going to Vancouver, Canada for 3 days and then meeting up with my other housemates (kate, maryna and hillary) in Seattle for a few days.  I get to take the amtrak train on the west coast for the first time.  Everyone keeps saying I’ll see some beautiful views along the way, so I only have high hopes for the trip :)  I also can’t wait to see if more progress can be made on my wave tank while I’m gone and then when I get back.  Mainly because once I get back I only have 11 days before our final presentation to get everything together.  Wish me luck and a great vacation time!

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