Ola from Azores!
Ola from Azores! We have been here for about a day and a half and we have already learned an extraordinary amount. After traveling for about 21 hours, with only 3 hours of sleep, we arrived at Horta, Faial at 3 pm local time. Ana Martins, from the Oceanographic Institute, met us at the airport and gave us a short tour of Horta and then brought us to our beautiful house. The two story 3-bedroom house that we are staying in comes complete with a garden in the backyard where figs, plantains, oranges, giant radishes, carrots, and lettuce is being grown.
After freshening up we walked down the mountain from our home to downtown Horta to have dinner at Peter Cafe Sport. This cafe, which is were we are sitting while we write this blog, is famous in part because the owner of the cafe rowed out to Joshua Slocum while he was passing the Azores to bring him fresh fruit. We haven't had the opportunity yet to tell the locals at the bar about our Slocum glider but we will. We also learned that when boats dock, the crew paints a tribute on the rocks in an effort to leave a piece of their mission in history. We saw several transatlantic murals, and we thought that it would be amazing to have the RU27 follow Joshua Slocum's trip and then paint a mural.
Then we hiked up the mountains back to the house, where Shannon and I painfully beat Josh and Dakota at an AMAZING game of cards
This morning we woke up and were picked up at the house by Joe, he is the cousin of the owner of the house, to go grocery shopping. The hospitality of the Azoreans is unbelievable. We picked up some breakfast and lunch items and boxed milk and then ate breakfast at the cafe inside of the store and then Joe brought us back to the house.
We met Ana Martins and a colleague of hers at their office for a tour of the Institute. We started at the oceanogra
- Ana talking with Josh in the lab
phic department and met some of the graduate and post-doc students from all over the world; Russia, Italy, France, Germany, Ireland, and Portugal. We learned about the engineers in the department, what they are working on and the training process that they go through. We discussed glider training so that when the glider passes the islands they can work with it.
We also got a chance to see the satellite room and the office where they interpret the data in Matlab to create very similar images to the ones that our lab creates. We discussed sharing data between the universities to improve the data collection of oceanographic labs on both sides of the Atlantic ocean. It will also be extremely useful to have local information and data to use when planning the glider path. There is the Azores current that Ana suggests we take to get to Europe the fastest.
After visiting the oceanographic department we went to the ecological and chemistry department were we learned about the local fisheries and the environment of the hydrothermal vents. Ana, who does a lot of work with satellites, is working on linking that data to the fish data and their relationship to NAOs which is very similar to Josh's FATE project. We were also able to see mussels from the hydrothermal vents that have been living in the labs for about two years.
Every lab that Ana brought us into gave us an in depth discussion about what they were working on and were extremely intrigued in what we are working on. I have a feeling that there is going to be a large crowd when we give our discussion on Wednesday. We not only learned about topics related to RU27, but we also learned about other opportunities in which we can partner with the university.
- Mount Pico
That's all for now folks
-Emily, Shannon, Dakota and Josh