Miles to go....

The woods are lovely, dark and deep. 
But I have promises to keep, 
And miles to go before I sleep, 
And miles to go before I sleep. 

It seems odd to invoke a wintry Robert Frost poem for an expedition headed to the equator. But I can't help thinking of the classic poem as the expedition members start their travel.... and travel... and travel....

All of the players are now in motion. Starting from NY, Washington, Boston, California, Indonesia,  Palau, Kiribati, and Fiji... we have quite the diverse group. As of this afternoon, they were all in transit to either Fiji or Samoa... after a long air transit, they will THEN board the boat for the 3.5 day boat trip from Samoa to the Phoenix Islands. Almost a week of travel! As Keith mentioned today (pictured below in NY with 12 bags of luggage and camera equipment): "I just touched down in Lax. With the international date line... Only three more days of flying to go:)".

In Logan Airport, the WHOI team members checked in their bags as well. Most of the team will rendezvous in Los Angeles before heading to Fiji and then Samoa.... and then the boat leaves! Meanwhile, the ship is also in motion - en route from Fiji to Samoa as well. This transit will save the expedition members from an extra 2 days of sailing. So, even though these transits seem long, it COULD have been 2 days longer!

From L to R: Kelton, Ben, Cam, Kathryn, and Hannah looking bright-eyed as they start the first leg of their long journey.

Tomorrow I will post about the goals and objectives of the June PIPA Expedition. But today, just know that the sea is lovely, dark, and deep...

And we have promises to keep.
And miles to go....


From "gear" to there... :-)

Dear PIPA blog readers -

Oh how I've missed you! As you've periodically seen since the 2009 expedition, we've been busy analyzing data, preparing manuscripts, setting research agendas, trying to finance our plans, and have been busily preparing for the 2012 expedition. Yes, you read that correctly: the 2012 expedition will be setting sail on June 4 from Samoa. We're all excitedly preparing!

In the past, we've posted a bit about the research gear necessary for the trip, and have shown you what 100+ checked bags looks like. But we haven't revealed the secrets behind our ability to blog from PIPA, or any of the other myriad preparations that are necessary. Until now.

Far from the wilds of the central Pacific, we test our equipment in the urban wilderness (aka the NEAq docks). Here, you can see Jeff Ives (NEAq) and Keith Ellenbogen (bluereef) testing our satellite capabilities. Keith will carry this all the way to PIPA, which will enable viewing of his PIPA photography while at sea.

Even in an urban setting, Jeff has to "dance" with the satellite dish in order to achieve an upload. Just picture Keith (and others) on the roof of the ship, at night, dancing with a satellite dish in order to send blog posts! If you ever doubted our dedication, this is our proof of how much we care. :-)

From Left to Right, Keith Ellenbogen, Les Kaufman, Randi Rotjan (me!) and Regen Jamieson gather to admire the first 3 packed bags for the expedition... 3 of 100+ (with everyone). We'll keep you posted, but needless to say, there is still a lot of packing to do in order to get us from "gear" to there....

So! Happy Memorial Day weekend, and we'll be posting more soon. Very soon.