Thursday, September 11, 2008

Transit Adventures and Arrival in La Paz

We flew in from Los Angeles to La Paz, Mexico yesterday. I had a rather extraordinary experience before boarding the aircraft in Los Angeles, California. My undergraduate alma mater, College of the Atlantic (COA), asked that I make the convocation address this year. I explained that could not do that as I would be en route for this expedition. COA was not deterred and asked that I give it by telephone from the airport prior to boarding the flight yesterday. That I did, and it was interesting speaking to an auditorium full of eager students in a the coastal town of Bar Harbor, Maine, while cupping the telephone mouthpiece and covering my ears so that I would not hear all the flight announcements echoing through the LA terminal.

Anyhow, my remarks over the telephone were geared toward emphasizing the importance of the oceans for life on Earth and I placed a special emphasis on seamounts, which are the subject of this expedition. Good luck and best wishes to COA's 2008 entering class!

After months of planning, the team is now converging here in La Paz over the next few days before boarding ARGOS and diving in the submersible DEEPSEE. Alan Dynner and I have come a few days early in order to SCUBA dive in the surrounding area and get the lay of the "land" before the whole team arrives.

Greg Stone prepares for the expedition with Larry Madin, Director of Research at WHOI.

On the flight down to La Paz, the plane was full of sport fisherman, all wearing t-shirts with big game fish on them and expensive sunglasses pushed up on top of their heads. The attraction of La Paz to these sport fisherman, who hope to catch yellow fin tuna and marlin among other fish, is further testament to the ocean life that exists here and it makes me all the more eager to get into the water and see these fish alive and swimming around.

As the wheels on the Horizon Air plane skidded onto the wet runway in La Paz, I could see wind blowing and wonder what the diving conditions will be like. Soon after arriving at our hotel I was informed that a storm would cancel our dives for the first day. So Alan and I are working at the hotel going over underwater cameras and diving gear in preparation for diving tomorrow.

-Gregory Stone


Facebook Comments


Post a Comment