Yet merrily still they fish, nor reck
Of the piercing cold or the wave-swept deck;
And the warning fog-horn, the bell’s sad tone,
Wakens no thought of knell or moan
In those sturdy fishermen, brave and free,
As they mournfully challenge the fog-veiled sea,
Though there scarce is one but…

Dear Sam,

Our chief scientist out here who we good-naturedly refer to as Cooper (because he looks, acts, and sounds like the shark biologist from Jaws), is a marine biologist who studies lobsters in the context of population dynamics. Lobster in Southern New England waters have not been doing well…

Dear Sam,

I am resoundingly incompetent as a doodler. Straight lines end up curvy, curvy lines end up straight, the faces I draw have ears coming out of cheeks and what looks like curly brackets for noses, and trees look like large stalks of broccoli with wires sticking out at…

Abstract: Write your code for others.

Dear Sam,

If you are a researcher in science today, it is a guarantee that you will have to write your own code. You will also have to debug someone else’s code. On more than one occasion, you will have to debug someone else’s…

ROLL on, thou deep and dark blue Ocean, roll!

Ten thousand fleets sweep over thee in vain;

Man marks the earth with ruin; his control

Stops with the shore; upon the watery plain

The wrecks are all thy deed, nor doth remain.

~ Lord Byron

Dear Sam,

For his own…

Dear Sam,

We live lives that are absolutely over-flowing with magic at every turn. I don’t mean magic like the magic of a mountain vista or that of a new-born fawn taking its first clumsy steps, I mean the vegas-style slights-of-hand that take place every day and leave you feeling…

Dear Sam,

Whoo! yip yip yip* yippee! Other youthful mouth-whooping noises!

Leg I is done and today begins Leg II of the scallop assessment! We’re setting off for new adventures!

Well-alright-fine-okay, it might not seem particularly different from the adventures of last week, but that is to the untrained eye…

Dear Sam,

Today is our second and final day on shore before we shove off. I am lucky to have a friend and co-worker here who was on leg I and is sticking around for leg II. We’re striking that perfect balance between responsibilities for work and responsibilities for leisure…

Dear Sam,

Seeing land for the first time is like getting out of a car after a long day of road-tripping, after you’ve just spent hours stewing in the uncomfortable car humidity that is one part greasy fast-food and two parts stale human, and everyone’s a little sick of playing…

The true peace of God begins at any spot a thousand miles from the nearest land. — Joseph Conrad*

It’s been seven days since we’ve left port and I have been outside four times. I’ve missed every sunset, nearly every sunrise, and countless hours that could have been spent outside…

michael saminsky

Likes: fisheries + ocean monitoring, smart + responsible use of technology, Jacques Cousteau, people doing stuff in low gravity, giving a good stink eye.

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