TAF Academy Day 1 – October 2015

Trip Day: 7 October - 9 October 201

Location: Main basin of Puget Sound

Name(s): TAF Academy

School/Grade: 9th grade

Greetings all,

I just wanted to let you know the boat set sail earlier this morning from Elliot Bay Marina with everyone aboard outfitted with raingear and ready to go.    Spirits seemed good all the way around.  The students have been divided into two groups for the sail in order to facilitate learning the science and sailing, and to share space and meals on the boat and on land later tonight.   I anticipate an update from the crew (and some of the students) this evening and I will pass along that information.   Thanks to all that provided transportation to the marina this morning.  It sounded as though traffic was a bit challenging at times, but glad everyone arrived safe.   More later, Dan

Afternoon Report From Carlyn to the Web

 7 October 2015, Day 1, Blake Island, from Debbie and Faith

            Some interesting and fun things we did today begins when we first arrived. We were told to put on rain gear to protect us from the harsh weather Seattle unkindly bestowed upon us this morning. We walked down the dock, then got into position in a method where we single-file and pass our belongings onto the ship, in a calm, swift and orderly manner. We began with our sleeping bags first, then passed along the precious clothes and items. When we all aboard the Carlyn, we played a name game where we introduce ourselves and tell a super-power or ability we want, but we could not repeat a power someone else had already said. We had a lot of fun, and there were some very creative responses. We also were introduced to the staff members and what they do on the ship. After Gabriel finally arrived because he was so, terribly late, we spoke some more and then we set off. We saw the main cabin, and explored the bow and cockpit. We separated into two different groups, the groups being wind and water. The water group were taught how to prepare the sails, pre-cautions and things we must be aware of when working on the ship. Debbie really enjoyed this process.

After a while, the groups switched to the wind group working on the sails, and the water group researching and collecting samples of plankton. We were finding if the turbidity affected how much plankton would be in the water. This was also pretty fun, but at this point we were freezing. Everything turned out to be fine in the end, though. c:

Some wildlife we saw on this trip today were a few seals, and when we arrived to Blake Island, we saw lots of deer, and a raccoon who decided to go out on the dock and go for a swim. This was incredible for a lot of students because many of us have never seen so many deer in one place, and probably lots of us haven’t seen a live raccoon in broad daylight. We also played some really fun games, like the name game written above, and we played a song guessing game where two different teams decided on a song and could only hum a piece of it. The other team has to guess the song, and this was really fun because each team chose fun songs and we were fairly competitive on a friendly level. We then played another name game where we said our names, then either did a short dance or said a bad joke.

The anchorage here is fairly nice. … That’s kind of it.

Evening update Day One

The lights have gone out and the students have settled for the night.  This evening report has come from the Program Coordinator who is on shore with the students tonight.

If it wasn’t evident in the last reports, the afternoon weather did indeed turn for the better and the students even enjoyed some sunshine as the day came to an end.  The forecast calls for the weather to be a bit more dry on Thursday, much to the agreement of everyone.

Their science question is about investigating the relationship between turbidity and plankton.  Phytoplankton relies on sunlight, so the students are sampling water at different depths to determine if they can find a relationship between the level of turbidity and the abundance of plankton.

Plankton under the mircoscopes

Plankton under the microscopes

It is reported that moral is high as there was dancing around the campfire with plenty of games.  As for the menu today, they enjoyed sandwiches and soup for lunch, and stir-fry for dinner.

Day 2 is slated for more science deployments, as well as developing their sailing skills at tacking the sailboat.

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