Kate and I arrived at Midway last night to drizzly sort of weather, a lot of familiar faces, and thousands of wet albatross chicks and adults. The flight seemed pretty short because I spent nearly the whole flight talking to the other passengers, including a scientist and a man who worked as a divemaster at Midway when there was more tourism ten years or so ago. After arriving, we greeted a lot of familiar faces, met several new people, and bid farewell to several familiar faces leaving for vacation. Kate and I moved into Charlie Barracks (the "hotel," which used to be bachelor officers quarters when Midway was a Naval Air Station) and then headed down to Captain Brooks (the island bar) - yummy pizza and your choice of a variety of beer, wine, or soda.
Today Kate and I organized everything we brought and moved things around between our rooms, the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) office, and the Boathouse, which we use as our lab and staging area.
Kate jumped in the water briefly in front of the Clipper House (where we eat meals) after lunch and decided the water was colder than she'd expected - I've been here in April and May before, but she hasn't. Oddly, the water is actually coldest here in April, so we'll still need warm wetsuits now - I'm glad I brought my 5 mm wetsuit and hood! The divemaster, Keoki Stender, is teaching an open-water SCUBA class for 8 FWS and Chugach employees, and he brought a 7-mm wetsuit, which is what I would use in California! Brr!!!!
The albatross chicks are just starting to become mobile, so they're moving into the roads. I had to drive a golf cart today to move all our gear around and it was a true obstacle course - riding my bike was a relief! I always forget how much I enjoy riding a bike when I'm not here - everyone else rides bikes in Santa Cruz, but I never do because of the hills.
Our goal for tomorrow is to get our boat in the water and prepared to start research Monday. We may take advantage of Keoki's knowledge of the reef to go out diving with him tomorrow, which would be a lot of fun! And now, off to join the bowling tournament - or at least to join in the general hilarity and fun, not the actual bowling! They're bringing pizza and drinks for sale, and it's the major entertainment for Saturday night!
Check out more of my photos here.