Summer at Sea: Early Riser

Leaving Half Moon Bay before the sun for a day of fishing with the California Collaborative Fisheries Research Program (photo: E. Loury)

Leaving Half Moon Bay before the sun for a day of fishing with the California Collaborative Fisheries Research Program (photo: E. Loury)

Erin Loury

Erin Loury

By Erin Loury, Ichthyology Lab

If you’re not a good morning person, think carefully before considering any type of marine field work.  Whether it’s to catch a good low tide to sample an otherwise submerged tidepool, or to squeeze in as much fishing time on the water before the afternoon wind, it’s not unusual to start a summer morning of field work at 4 a.m.  I definitely gain a new respect for weather and tides when operating on nature’s schedule – and maybe lose a bit in the beauty sleep department.
There are other consequences: I start thinking about lunch around 9:30 a.m., and bed starts sounding awfully good at 8 p.m.   Although I often wish I had a crowbar to pry open my eyelids that early in the morning, the pre-dawn start can have its benefits too.  Such as watching the sunrise light up the ocean.   Suddenly, the field work I was cursing not two hours before becomes the luckiest job the world – and I remember just why I wanted to do marine science in the first place.

Sunrise at the Channel Islands on a National Marine Fisheries survey (photo: Erin Loury)

Sunrise at the Channel Islands on a National Marine Fisheries survey (photo: Erin Loury)

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