I had one of those moments the other day when I was down along Ruston Way to collect more crabs.
While I was walking down to the water’s edge I was looking down so I wouldn’t trip over rocks or slip on algae. When I reached the water, I took a moment to look out into Commencement Bay. It was a little after 9am, so the sky was still cloudy and overcast, but there was one spot on the far side of the bay where more sun was getting through the clouds. That little bit of light lit the water beneath it so it was sparkling. It was so beautiful. I don’t know why I didn’t take a picture of it though, maybe, I unconsciously knew that a photograph wouldn’t be the same as seeing it in person. As I stood there taking it in, I noticed two blobs in the water near me. I turned to look and I saw two harbor seals watching me. That automatically put a smile on my face. I set my bucket down so I could take a picture, but the sound of the handle hitting the side of the bucket scared the seals away. I still kept looking out, however, and was thrilled to see their heads pop up farther away, but still looking towards me. A moment and they were gone. The gulls near me started squawking away and that’s when I realized how great the world really is. The gulls making all kinds of ruckus, the curious seals watching me, the smell of the salt in the air, everything. I love the ocean and that, that is when I realized that I want to do this for the rest of my life. I want to study and learn more about the ocean. It really does hold some wonderful things. It was like I’ve always known that I love the ocean, but the scene of the sunlight hitting the water and the two seals and the sound of the gulls moved me and made me realize my inner feelings.
Yesterday when I went back out to the beach, I could have sworn I saw two seals watching me, ducking back under the water as I turned to get a better look. At my second sampling site, I definitely saw two seals watching me from afar. I don’t usually believe in superstitions or spirits, but I can’t help but wonder if those seals represent something for me in my life.
On a semi-related note, I’ve finally found my favorite shade of green. It happens to be the color of the algae (ulva) down along Ruston Way. I guess I’m really attracted to the ocean on so many levels.
This is my last week collecting crabs and other data before the summer ends and the last year of my undergraduate career begins. I decided to do research this summer for several reasons, one being to help me figure out what I want to do after graduation. I have learned so much this summer and gained so much knowledge. Researching this summer has been a great experience, and if you have the opportunity to do research as well, I highly recommend it. You don’t only learn academic things, but you learn more about yourself as well.
As for my data, it’s looking great. I have collected, weighed, sexed, and measured over 360 crabs this summer encompassing 5 different species. I’ve also sampled 4 sites along Ruston Way. It seems that my predictions won’t be thrown out and I’ve noticed some interesting trends. Not too shabby.