Up the Suwannee

First, I must ask that we take a moment of silence to mourn the death of my dear Nintendo DS. I dropped it today, for the gazillionth time, but it was one time too many. For while this fine piece of machinery could handle many a blow (it was the old silver, brick model from at least six years ago), when I dropped it today, a crack appeared on the inner body just above the touch screen. Not just any old crack, but a monster that seemed to completely disable the touch screen. And since you need the touch screen to turn the thing on... we shall mourn its loss (this is especially troubling because Pokemon Black and White just came out, and now I have no means to play them).

Anyway, today we had a little adventure: we took the small boats up the Suwannee River! At first it was a little scary, us being in small boats on a large body of water (aka the ocean), with six of us in one boat:

But once we got into the river, it wasn't nearly as terrifying. It got fresh pretty quick, much to Dr. Brand's dismay (we were in the river delta/salt marsh area and you couldn't taste salt in the water). We went a couple miles upriver, taking samples and CTD casts wherever it was deep enough (according to Dr. Brand). It was pretty amusing: we'd be cruising along, and then all of a sudden Dr. Brand goes, "I WANT TO TAKE A SAMPLE!" (<--- dramatization) and we'd screech to a halt. We saw some pretty cool river-side houses and docks on our way up the river, including this one, which has it's own home-made water slide into the river, complete with dock and lounge chairs to aid in parental supervision:

It got pretty windy on the way back, and Dave pretty much forced Katie and Chris into some of the rough seas gear he had stored on the boat, even though they insisted they were fine:

They called themselves "Deadliest Catch Wannabes."

The Walt Smith was beautiful in the setting sun on our approach back. Dave was nice enough to indulge us in a run around the ship for a photo-op, and this is but one of the awesome pics I got of the Walt Smith at sea:

Finally, we have an update on the Green Flash Watch: conditions today were almost perfect, with a little bit of atmospheric haze on the horizon. Katie, Chris, and I all watched the sun as it set intently from the bridge, where the crew was nice enough to loan us a pair of binoculars to see the flash (which they all thought was going to happen). Chris and I (Chris, of course, was the most desperate to see the flash), were without binoculars when the sun dipped below the horizon, and didn't see anything. Katie, however, was looking through the binoculars, and saw just the tiniest flash with their aid. Let's just say Chris and I were super-jealous. Oh, well, at least I got some more great sunset photos!

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