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March 11, 2003: Leg 3, Pichilingue

Nine of our eleven scientists flew into La Paz yesterday. Today we moved aboard the R/V Western Flyer to unpack, set up the labs, inhabit our cabins, and finalize our cruise planning. Rebeca Gasca from ECOSUR arrived this morning, and Bill Hamner of UCLA will join us later this evening. We made it through customs and immigration without too much hassle, despite the peculiar appearance of some of our carry-on itemsó"...and what part of the submarine does this attach to?" 

As is often the case in operations away from home, there have been a few glitches. Our trawl net is still in Guadalajara, we think. Brad Seibel's tank of reagent grade oxygen is out there somewhere and he's out there too, tracking it down. (Liquid nitrogen? What liquid nitrogen?) After being concerned that we would not have enough videotapes for the cruise, we now have twice as much as we need (but no one is complaining). Our departure will probably be delayed until tomorrow morning because of... Well, it really doesn't matter why, it's just one of those things. 

We are all eager to be on our way. It's good to be back aboard the Western Flyer and to be working with our friends on the ship and ROV crews. Stay tuned...   

Bruce Robison

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