Yes, today was August 22nd over here in Australia-land- it seems I get to experience a virtual 36-hour-long birthday since most of my internet-friends are on the other side of the International Date Line and about 12 hours different in terms of time zones. 1.5 times the fun! And I’d say the day lived up to that billing.
This morning we went back to Mrs. Mac’s, Exmouth’s charity-supporting “ops shop”- a secondhand store, carrying everything from coffee mugs to swimsuits to prom dresses to sewing kits, books, and plastic kiddie toys. People drop their junk off and the cool stuff makes its way onto the shelves. Kaja and I have been keeping tabs on their selection of Australian-flag-related clothing (there’s a pretty fabulous bikini that neither of us really thinks we’ll wear, but admire every time we go to the store) and have so far managed to acquire temporary tattoos, blue shorts that proudly display the name of the country across the rear, two small flags, and an Australian flag baseball cap. Get ready, everyone who might expect a souvenir from me- it’s either gonna be a postcard or a recycled treasure from the give-away heaps of small-town Western Australia. Good gracious I love Mrs. Mac’s.
The next stop, grocery shopping, allowed me to indulge in a family tradition that I wasn’t expecting to celebrate. Long-life noodles, boiled and then fried up in a pan- I improvised a bit, since I’m not exactly sure how they’re normally made. Whatever it was that I did turned out pretty awesome though, or at least I enjoyed them thoroughly. With a little veggie stir-fry in a sauce, it was perfect. Or so I thought before Kaja brought out chocolate chip cupcakes, the recipe for which I will need to steal before long.
Then in the afternoon, when the wind died down, we headed out for a few transects on the boat. After a good solid Sousa sighting (research never rests! ADVENTURE IS OUT THERE, and so are Arrow and E, a frequently-sighted and very well-photographed mother-juvenile pair) we came back, wiped everything down, entered data, showered, and headed out for some celebrating.
I can’t think of a better day, though of course I miss my family and friends from home/Dartmouth. Rest assured that I thought of you all (even you readers I’ve never met… I thought of you right now… as it occurred to me that I might have readers I’ve never met… hi?) and wouldn’t have enjoyed this day half as much had it not been for you lovely people, your science, your art, your friendship, your pumpkin bread (hi mom!). Coming up- more science, less birthday, hopefully some diving, perhaps some tropical reef ecology, and YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED (if you ask them anyways, I’ll do my best).
FOR SCIENCE AND FOR GLORY,
Agent Red Squirrel
p.s. I’m still accepting contributions to the Vicky-has-Internet Fund- you can message if you’d like to help out. Internets are EXPENSIVE here… and I’d like to keep posting photos and terrible jokes to all you virtual folks! Hooray (and thanks)!