Nuclear fission and fusion

We got up early this morning so that we’d be ready for our mandatory Zodiac briefing at 8:30; I stuck my head out to look at the weather and enjoyed the view of the pre-sunrise crepuscular rays and the crescent moon.

After the briefing, we went out for our first Zodiac tour; we circumnavigated Trimouille Island, which the British used as the site of their first A-bomb test back in 1952 – even now, they recommend not spending more than an hour a day on or near the island. We saw lots of birds, including the White-Bellied Sea Eagle and the Eastern Osprey.

We were supposed to go out snorkeling soon after lunch, but they were worried about the waves being too rough for people to be able to get in and out of the Zodiacs safely. So they repositioned the ship to the other side of the island and rescheduled Joel Weisberg’s second lecture on the “Birth, Life, and Death of Stars” to happen while we were moving. He’s a great teacher, and a lot of fun.

After the lecture, the expedition team lead got on the PA and announced that there would be a snorkeling trip – but he discouraged anyone but advanced snorkelers from participating because conditions would be difficult. We took the hint and repaired to the bar to make up for not having wine at lunch.

Tomorrow’s morning snorkel is supposed to be for everyone – a nice, easy beach snorkel. I’m looking forward to it!