Saturday, June 22, 2013

Two For School

I haven't written much about home school ("boat school") on the blog, but it has become another major focus of our life afloat.  Alisa is ushering Elias through Grade 1 with a curriculum supplied by the State of Tasmania.

Meanwhile, I find myself in school as well.  I also haven't written about this much, but when we first arrived in Tasmania, more than three years ago, I had two just-funded marine biology projects that together made up a PhD's worth of research.  Having managed to get halfway through a career as a biologist without actually doing a PhD, I figured that I'd never again get such a good chance.  So I found someone at the University of Tasmania to supervise me, added an Australian component to complement the North Pacific focus of my work, and away I went.

I haven't asked around, but I'm pretty sure that I am the only full-time PhD student in the world who has managed to fit in an ocean crossing (and a crossing of the Tasman!) into their program.

So yesterday, we settled into our schedule.  After breakfast, Alisa and Elias retreated to the aft cabin to get after some fractions and spelling.  Alisa used to try to watch Eric while she also schooled Elias so that I could have uninterrupted time to work, but adding a three-year-old to the Grade 1 mix is a sure bet for frustration on everyone's part.  So Eric and I stayed in the main cabin: I worked at the chart table, catching up on the tasks I let slide while we were in North America, and Eric played.

My interior dialogue went something like this:

-The Beverton-Holt model...
-Daddy, where's my knight?
-outperformed the Ricker model based on the small-sample Aikaike's Information Criterion.
-Daddy, where's my knight?
-Model residuals were normally distributed...

Well, you get the picture.

Boy vs. vegemite sandwich.  Boy won, but sandwich put up a fight.

Engineering school:  the light was flickering, Eric gave it a whack, and the flickering stopped.  He was in heaven, having fixed a broken bit of boat gear for the first time ever.  By the end of the day the light was flickering again.  Welcome to my world, kid. 

Engineering school: re-torquing the head nuts 50 hours after the gasket was changed.  After I got everything put back together there was evidence of blow-by: gasses pushing out of the oil-fill cap when it's opened.  That definitely didn't happen before we had the gasket changed - wish I had checked to see if it was happening before I torqued the nuts!  
Today's lesson: checking valve clearance to see if that explains the escaping gasses... 


  1. awesome, it is all awesome.

    1. awesome on the good days, pretty darn good on the bad days!