Saturday, November 23, 2013

Don't forget the packing tape

The key to any successful expedition is careful preparation. I have come to really appreciate that I can drive my car five minutes to the nearest hardware store and buy almost any tool I can imagine. Painting the deck and forgot to buy a paint stirrer? What a waste of fifteen minutes.

Some of our drilling supplies. Photo: T. DeCarlo
But on the ocean, if we forget something we are either out of luck or we can spend a day docking at the closest island only to find whatever we need does not exist on the island.

The most difficult part of preparation is realizing all the items we need to get us, our gear, and our samples home. Of course, the packing list starts with the obvious items for our work: underwater drill, check. SCUBA gear, check. Cement plugs and epoxy to patch up the coral colonies that we drill, check. GPS, check. Camera, check. Ok, our purpose is to collect coral skeleton cores, and we have everything we need to do that. That's the natural thought process.

But, oh how awful it would be to collect our beautiful skeleton cores, place them carefully into a box, and realize we have no way to seal the box. Packing tape, check.


Tom DeCarlo


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