Today I want to tell you guys about my working place and environment! First of all let me introduce myself, I am a volunteer from Colombia called Alejandra. The reasons why I end up in the team are simple; the need of an internship and the amazing way Essi described the job. She promised the best summer, and so far this has been the best and most wonderful one I have had in my life. It is amazing the amount of knowledge I've obtained and places I've been able to see.
Anyway, as I was telling I’m going to talk about my work. I am working in the field, which means I spend most of my time outside in the nature doing different kinds of things. My office in a normal working day - and by normal I mean when the wind is not blowing very hard- is composed by a blue sky with some friendly clouds as a roof. The walls are made of islands and open sea, though it depends of the location we are at, because sometimes is just the open sea around us. And the floor is the brackish water of the Bothnian Bay.
Some of the coolest equipment we use is an HD underwater camera. I personally like to work with it either by being the person dropping it underwater or looking at the preview video which shows what the camera lens captures. We usually use the HD camera to take videos in specific polygons which are areas in the sea assigned to us to be analyzed looking for specific things, such as water mosses or vascular plants among others.
Once in the polygon I take the HD camera in one of my hands and start dropping it in the water. I am not alone; I have two more colleagues with me on the boat. One of them is behind the steering wheel of the boat navigating the polygon with a GPS in his/her hand. The other one is operating the computer writing down all her eyes curious as concentrate on the screen - like a predator looking for its pray - can see, hoping to see that plant we are looking for!
The weather plays an important role in this job; high winds can stop all kind of outdoor operations. However, rainy days are not a problem since we have those big and a bit funny survival suits. Yeah, those orange ones you see us wearing on the picture below. The survival suits are not only water and wind proof they keep us safe in case of an emergency such as one of us falling in the water; they will make you float, you'll probably look like the Michelin man but that's fine as long as you are on the surface!
After a long day at the sea all of us are looking forward for something. In my case warm food and sauna, the best way of relaxing ever created on this world! Once on the island everybody is busy with something, some storing data, photos and GPS points, and others analyzing samples with the help of the microscope and so on. An hour or so go by and dinner is ready, something different and delicious is waiting for us. Once we are satisfied and with our stomachs full it is sauna time, the best room to relax and have a nice time. There people talk about interesting things that happened during the day, others stretch muscles or just stay relax and quiet. Sauna is the best place to sing, to drink a cool beer, to chill with your colleagues or just a place to be alone!