Friday, April 20, 2007

Tidepool Frisbee... and other anticks!

We might have been a little bit grouchy when we loaded up the vans at six-thirty this morning but once the sun came out over the tidepools at Strawberry Hill, things were looking up. The now familiar Hawaiian soundtrack from Jansen’s boom-box kept us smiling as Annette led us through the intertidal zone pointing out the different algae and how to distinguish them. We saw areas almost carpeted with analipus and its golden, goose-pimpled crust. All three coralline red algae were present for our evaluation (I think I can almost tell the difference now). After studying algae all week, we are beginning to identify these species on our own and enjoying noticing the habits and habitats of the algae. I also found a cute little limpet that grazes exclusively on the epibiotic algae on Pollicipes pollimerus. I thought that was pretty cool.

By the time we got down to the low zone, the surf was high and awesome. Examining the larger kelps, we ventured right down to the edge where the waves were breaking, testing our bravery to stand still as the waves crashed and rushed in. It was awesome. Every wave was like a train coming right at you, roaring to a halt as it crashed over the kelp beds and became foam at our boots. (well I guess we might have gotten a little bit wet, once or twice) The power of the ocean is truly humbling. I think that must be why we are all attracted to it.

There was a little impromptu karaoke on the beach and we passed the Frisbee all the way back to the vans. We stopped in Yachats on the way home to visit the Ye Old Green Salmon for coffee and pastries. Everything was so tasty we kept going back to the counter for more and it was hard to pull ourselves away.

Back at Hatfield, a game of beach volleyball started up and before too long, we had sixteen people (at least!!) We bumped and spiked and ran after the ball to the tune of salsa dance music for hours until we had to go in for lecture. Lab time quickly turned into free time as the warm sunshine enticed everyone to come outside. Robbie and Dan entertained with their guitar and drum and When the sun went down, we gathered at the Rogue Brewery to celebrate my birthday (thanks guys- you’re awesome!) and later enjoyed a little bonfire on the beach. What a day! ~Lou

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