Bering Sea Days – Day Two

Quickly before we get to the real fun of the day, this morning’s workout was a “Rest Day.”  I qualify it as such because I’ve been running more often lately for some strange reason, and I’ve developed a slight soreness in my middle toe on my left foot.  Too much experimenting with vulgar gestures that I could use during the summer in sandal weather.

Anyways, instead I decided to get in some weights work, and did two sets of the following exercises routines using 12.5lb hand weights:

I didn’t actually do the Split leg roll over, but instead did Scissor Kicks, mainly because I’m 30 now and don’t need to be in traction because I’m trying to act like a teenager on my living room floor.

And just when I thought my abs hadn’t had enough, I hit em with a 14 Day Abs Challenge.

Bering Sea Days – Day Two

This morning, our first session with the scientists was supposed to be a fa-real run through of plopping Ruby the ROV in the water, but sadly with so much sea ice, the harbor swallowed her up.  Instead we went after lunch.  Instead we had an amazing session with Dr. Trites from the University of British Columbia and his journey to collect an entire Blue Whale skeleton.  With only about 7,000 of those tug-boat-of-a-mammal in the world, that wasn’t an easy task.

What I thought was most interesting was that when a Blue Whale opens its mouth to gather water/plankton/fishies, it can swing it’s lower jaw all the way down into almost a 90 degree angle!  Then it fills it’s mouth with ocean water, which makes the volume in its mouth bigger than the volume of it’s entire body!  Same thing happens when nachos are served.

This afternoon we were able to get down to the harbor and watch Ruby get launched under the frosty waves of the St. Paul Island Harbor.  My students and I joined the 1st graders and kindergarteners, and it was adorable how well the Big Kids took care of the Littleuns.

The view from my picture doesn’t do much for the view we had from the recording mechanism on Ruby, but it kept the attention of five years olds for more than five minutes, so that’s telling you something!

I’m sorry to say this, but probably the coolest thing that we did all day was when I gathered a handful of my students and went down to tour the crabbing vessel The Time Bandit that is featured on the Discovery Channel’s Deadliest Catch.

It was really cool to see my students sort of go all gooey over the fishermen.  I haven’t really watched the show, so these were just a bunch of normal guys and I was happy to play camera man, official requester of photos and autographs, and holder of jackets, iTouches, and conversation.

I met Neal and Scott Hillstrand, Mike Fourtner, and Josh Harris.  I wish this picture didn’t turn out so blurry, but that’s what happens when you have an 8 year old take a picture in mid celeb-meltdown.

We were there about an hour, and the guys were totally cool with the kids.  I am very impressed and will probably pay more attention in the future when the show comes on, now that I’ve rubbed elbows with celebs.

Something in the Water

As Dear Hubby and I were pulling into the driveway last night, I thought to myself, “Gee, I wonder what it would be like if I became one of those kind of people?”  You know, those uber weirdos who actually put on workout clothes twice a day and actually exercise at both occasions.  I’ve put on leggings in the afternoon but with no loftier a goal than to further permeate the dent on the couch.  But actual sweat-inducing, muscle strengthening activities a second time in one day?  Who does that?!??!

THIS GIRL!

I didn’t want to push my luck, so I set my iPod for a 3 mile run.  I thought that since the distance was short, I would shoot for a 5k pace, and ended up with a time of 22’36”

I don’t know what’s up with my lately and the afternoon runs – must be something in the water.

Speaking of things being in the water, our afternoon Bering Sea Days session on Tuesday centered around a LARGE and EXPENSIVE piece of equipment used to explore underwater habitats.  Introducing the Phantom 300 R.O.V. (remotely operated vehicle) AKA Ruby!

Ruby allows scientists to be able to explore life under the ocean’s surface without the threats that could come to an unprotected diver.  Michelle Ridgeway, a wonderful scientist who has been involved with St. Paul School and annual presenter at Bering Sea Days, explained that especially in colder waters, a diver is very limited to explore given the elements.

With Ruby and her video recording and high-powered lighting system, scientists are able to go in areas that might otherwise be unavailable; the grey area between where a diver can go and a larger vehicle.

The ROV is operated by a control station, and two of our students ran the group through a simulation equipment check.

We had two volunteers direct Ruby through the library to demonstrate how well her recording skills are, as the group looked on at a monitor in another part of the room.

Today, Wednesday bright and early, we’ll be heading out to the North Docks in our harbor to do a real, underwater exploration with Ruby.  Updates to come!

How to Make a Fish Print

Happy Tuesday, All.

Today is like my Monday because it’s the first day this week that students have been at school.  Even though we are in session, it’s a special week because it’s Bering Sea Days; a time in which all things Science are explored in relation to life and the Bering Sea are explored.  Scientists from around the country, and beyond, travel here to share their knowledge and experience with our students.  Many of the professionals in the Science world are Field Scientists, so they have much hands-on experience.  This is my second year being part of this magnificent experience.

To start out Day One, the majority of the events focused on the Elementary School, so it was left up to the Secondary Teachers to find something interesting to keep our students occupied.  I wasn’t quite sure what to do as this is not my field of expertise, so it was suggested we do fish prints.  I have done something similar to this with different types of tree leaves: paint one side of the leaf, press it onto paper and once you lift the leaf, you have an beautiful art project.  In theory, I thought this would be ideal.  In practice…well….

Steps:

1. Get a bucket of frozen fish.

2. Paint the fish with multiple colors.

 

3. Press fish on a piece of construction paper

3.  Press paper towel over painted fish.

4.  Carefully peel back the paper towel.

5. ENJOY!

One thing I didn’t account for was the smell.  Almost enough to lose your lunch.

Another thing was that the first that we used, while not your average breeds from the Michigan area (Bass, Rainbow Trout, or Herring) and therefore interesting to me, were preserved in the freezer.  Imagine trying to get a print of a three-dimensional object on a two dimensional surface.  It wasn’t very easy.

A final thing that I hadn’t realized was that it does not take an hour to slap some paint on a fish and then full it on a piece of paper.  It takes as much time as it took me to type the sentence.  Keeping fourteen middle and high school students occupied for the next fifty-five minutes was a bit of a challenge.