Day 37: In Which There is a Fieldtrip (of a kind)

So this class is Coastal Zone Management, where we think how to chunk up space efficiently for management and how to talk to people about ecology without resorting to shrieking or beating people with sticks. (perhaps I don’t have the right temperament for government. I just want to grab people by the lapels and shake them until they stop being stupid. I feel, distantly, like this will require a lot of shaking).

Anyway, the class has been interesting so far, and today we had a fieldtrip, which was also quite fun, but I have no idea why we went. We had lecture for the morning and then came back after lunch to go a beach?

It’s a lovely black sand beach. It’s also decently windy and the water is Frigid, though you wouldn’t know from the people swimming in it off camera right.

We just showed up and poked around for a while. I did an impromptu lesson about river erosion, talking about water speed and sediment carrying capacity. We threw rocks in the river and a good time was had by all. I also wandered up and down and tried to ID some shells and strange stalks (I continue to be not a biologist), and we found some basalt with calcite crystals. I also found a chunk of spine of something and gave it away.

Then we piled back into the cars (one of my favorite things about driving in Iceland is that a) the views are always stunning and b) there’s streams and rivers Everywhere so you are constantly going over bridges and culverts, some of which are even big enough for a baby dragon to hide in) and drove up a lookout point that was an old NATO radar station with some stunning cliffs.

The plaque helpfully informed us you cannot in fact see Greenland, that’s just across the fjord. If you think you see Greenland, a) wrong direction or b) mirage
I was only a little very terrified of dropping my phone off the platform

They had built a viewing platform, which again, absolutely stunning even with the clouds, and given that I’m pretty good with heights I thought I would be fine. And I was completely fine looking out, or even down over the railing, but looking straight down through the grating that made the floor was terrible, and my brain think I was standing on nothing at all. I could also feel it bouncing when other people walked on it. Did Not Like That, so I went back to standing on nice sturdy basalt (the other students are starting to pick up on everything-is-a-basalt, except when it’s an andesite, and then I get excited).

We then went to what I think was the point of the fieldtrip, the outdoor maritime museum.

everything circa 1890s, including a fish drying hut (far back), a tiny sleeping place (middle), and salt application/tiny machine shop space (nearest)
I found the oldest and crunchiest lathe I ever seen I loved it Immediately

I was surprised at how much of the stuff I recognized – nets are still that shape and size, and tied with the same knot even if the rope is different. Fish hooks and long lines still look like that, they’re just not made of iron anymore (I briefly missed blacksmithing very badly, handling those hooks). The lathe! The oilskins were maybe the biggest difference, and the lanterns that we no longer light with whale oil. It was all neat, I very much enjoyed it, and I have no idea how it connected to class. Maybe the professor just wanted to get out the classroom too.

Unrelatedly, I’ve been having trouble translating one of the menus on my phone out of Icelandic (new sim card and all that) and Google Translate is not being maximally helpful:

I’d dearly love to know what a star chart has to do with any of this, but I have since figured out a workaround for this menu, and I don’t know who I’d ask in the first place.

Still amused, despite my starfish soup needing debugging.

One response to “Day 37: In Which There is a Fieldtrip (of a kind)”

  1. that lathe…. absolutely!


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