[This post written 6/15/08; position: lat -57'49", long -44'28"; temp -7C; wind chill -23C]
Hi, everybody. Elizabeth had a couple of questions about my last post, the one with pictures of some of the gross stuff the scientists are finding in the ocean around here. First, Elizabeth, those are grown-up jellyfish in the picture. I know they look like they might be eggs, but they are really grown-ups! Also, I asked Stephanie to tell me about the differences between salps and slugs. She says that although both salps and slugs are pretty slimy, salps are very different. A slug looks pretty much the same, whether it’s in water or not in water. Salps look a lot prettier when they’re in water — like little glassy barrels — where they drift on the currents and use their muscles to pump water in one end of themselves and out the other. They catch food from the water as it goes through them. The reddish brown spot is the salp’s stomach. Some salps can even glow in the dark! I’ve never seen a slug that could do that.
Well, Strike has outdone himself today. This morning when I woke up, he was nowhere to be found. It took us most of the day to find him. We looked everywhere. First we went up on the bridge and asked Captain Mike and First Mate Rachell if they had seen him, which they had not. Then we went to the little lab where the planes are. (By the way, Lorenzo, the team has decided to take your suggestion about what to call the plane. It will be named the “Ice Mosquito.” There aren’t any real mosquitoes in Antarctica, so our plane will be the only mosquito anywhere around! Thanks!) Strike was not with the planes. At lunch, he was not in the galley, which I guess is not all that surprising, since I have never seen him eat anything.
At today’s science meeting, we asked the scientists if any of them had seen Strike. Sure enough, the engineers who are working on the new ROV said, “Yeah! He’s down in the electronics lab! We wondered where he came from. Is he yours?”
Which I didn’t really know how to answer. I mean, he’s certainly not mine. I doubt he belongs to anybody but himself. He has a weird attitude.
Down in the lab, we found him right on the bench where the engineers are putting together the ROV. I said, “Um…has he made any…uh…sounds, or anything?” I didn’t really want to ask if he had said anything, because I didn’t want to get teased about being too old and…whatever.
Judging from the weird looks I got, though, Strike hadn’t said anything to anybody. They just found him down there among the wires and soldering irons. What he was doing there we may never know, unless he decides to start talking again! I took a couple of pictures in the lab. The top one speaks for itself. The bottom one is the new ROV, looking almost as funky and homemade as the unner. I bet there is duct tape on it somewhere.