Sunday, April 1, 2012


Since this is my first post, I will begin by introducing myself. My name is Adrià (“ah-dree-Ah”), that written accent on top of the last A (à) meaning that stress falls on that last syllable. I hope this is helpful to those struggling a little bit with my first name. In the next post, I will discuss the Spanish issue with surnames, aka the First and Second Last Names Paradox. But I was introducing myself: (Hopefully) I'm on the last year (and a half) of my PhD degree, which focuses on travel time tomography (TTT). TTT is a method used to model wide-angle seismic data, which produces P-wave velocity models of the Earth subsurface usually reaching down to the upper mantle. Additionally, it may also be possible to define the geometry of strong geological discontinuities such as the top of the basement under a sedimentary layer, the interface between the two plates in a subduction or the Moho. Together with Jun, I've been developing a 3-D version of his code for TTT (tomo2d), and before I had also applied tomo2d to data acquired offshore Nicaragua to image the subduction zone. Jun invited me to this cruise to discuss the next steps in the development of the 3-D TTT code (tomo3d), and of course to help as a stand watcher. This is my fourth cruise, and although I don't particularly like ships, it wasn't exactly hard to make up my mind about this one when I learned that I would have the opportunity to visit Guam and Hawaii, and that I would be able to complete a trip around the world (Barcelona - London - Tokyo - Guam - Hawaii - San Francisco - Toronto - Vienna - Barcelona).

But enough of science for today. I'm told that April 1st is April Fools' Day. Although in Spanish-speaking countries the equivalent celebration is on December 28th ("Día de los Inocentes"), in the Spanish Balearic island of Menorca, April Fools' Day is also celebrated on April 1st and known as "Dia d'enganyar", Catalan for "Fooling Day". In order to honor such a special day as this, I added a false fact somewhere in this post. You can make your guess, and either tell me in person or on a comment to this post.

Despite the first days of uneasy feeling in the stomach and the occasional rush to the toilet (we all know why), so far the cruise has been fun. I am a proud member of the A-Team, most commonly known as Team Awesome, alongside Sam and Cécilia. As such, I've already been invited to a couple of parties by Bern and Dave from the science tech crew. The first one was a Streamer Party, nothing illegal, no online streaming to watch TV series on the Internet, just a bunch of guys deploying the 6-km-long cable used to acquire multichannel seismic data. The second one included the same bunch of guys, some more coming and going of cables, and a guest star which goes by the name of Maggie (the magnetic sensor). For some reason, it stopped working and we had to recover it, change its cable, and put it back in the water. Even if it's cold outside, it's good to go up on deck from time to time, to escape the laboratory (actually a little bit too cold as well) and its screens (how many?) for a while. A mysterious and remarkable inhabitant of the lab, is the 8 ball. The old tales say that it can foretell everything, so I asked whether I would be marrying my girlfriend anytime soon, and the answer was positive. Now, I'm planning to ask my girlfriend to marry me during our mini-holidays in Hawaii.

Finally, I'd like to send out there a request for shelter for the first night in Hawaii. I'm staying until the 20th but, knowing that on the first night we may sleep on the ship and that my girlfriend arrives the following day, I only booked a hotel for the other three nights. Any ideas on a place to crash or any advice will be much appreciated. I already have a list which includes beach (every day) and surfing lesson(s?), but I'm probably missing some sightseeing, for instance, an excursion to a crater.

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