Today was probably the most interesting day we've had. It was our major "Boat Ops" day, and the plan was to take several full water samples of multiple rivers and lakes. And, of course, it had to be one of the colder rainier days of our trip. The team split up; one group went to recover samples from past sites, and my group was to execute Boat Ops.
We loaded the truck with our one and only, blue and gray, inflatable boat: the Mariner 3! First we sampled a couple rivers and measured for temperature, dissolved oxygen, conductivity, and pH using a YSI instrument. We came upon what seemed to be a large lake and unloaded our boat, hiked over to the water, got in with all our gear and lifejackets, and began to head out with our flimsy paddles... only to find out that nowhere in this large lake did the depth exceed 0.5 meters. There Erik and I were, in the middle of the tundra, all geared up, sitting in a tiny boat that was floating in less than 0.5 meters of water, and freezing our butts off. Even with Erik's rowing experience, it was a challenge to get ourselves back onto shore with the strong wind working against us, so LCDR Woods and Tom decided it was best to meet us on the other side of the lake and pick us up from there.
Our second Boat Ops attempt, this time executed by LCDR Woods and Tom, proved to be not much better. The lake was called Big Lake, and it's maximum depth was a whopping 1.5 meters. We took the samples and measurements, and headed back home in our muddy and wet gear.