#12: Packing Fish All.... Night.... Long....

We pulled an all-nighter last night. Haven't done that since college. The fish had a flight at 7 am this morning, so we started packing them at 11 pm last night and worked straight through until they got dropped off at the airport. The packing of fish was a well oiled machine and everyone was working non-stop.

Susan and Lionel were setting up boxes. Terry was filling bags with water

Chris, Scott and I were catching (or should I say re-catching) the fish from their tanks.

Jeremy was putting fish into the correct sized bags

Sean was running bagged fish over to get sealed off

Sherrie and Captain Lou were adding pure oxygen to the bags and sealing them off

Deb was marking the Styrofoam boxes with the kind of fish packed in them. Don and Russ were cross referencing what fish had been packed with our collecting log. Captain John was stacking the Styrofoam boxes into cardboard boxes and sealing them up.

We finished packing all but four of the fish in about 4 hours. Of course the last four were the biggest fish we had, and the most challenging to pack up.

Remember those two white spotted file fish I was so excited about? And how one of them got close enough that I could see it's teeth? Well those teeth were great at biting through the bag, and it drains the water out. The problem was finally solved by drilling holes in a bucket and submerging it in a bag with water ... after trying a few other things that didn't work. That was another one from yours truly, the Tufts alumni Chris Doller.

The cowfish (above) and the barracuda are big, and can also bite through their bags, but layering cardboard between the layers of bags seemed to work for them.

All the boxes of fish made it safely to the Aquarium and will be in quarantine for at least 6 weeks to watch for any parasites that we wouldn't want to spread to our exhibit. After that you may start to see some of the more obvious fish go on exhibit ... the file fish, the barracuda, the cowfish. But be on the lookout for some of the more under appreciated animals, like the beautiful sponges, feather dusters and tunicates.

The participants on this trip have gone home. For staff the rest of the trip is mostly cleaning the boat and packing away all our gear.

I'm going through a bit of withdrawal from scuba diving and all the participants I've lived with for the past 11 days, so I'm going to ease myself off it a bit by posting some more short stories and great pictures from the trip that haven't made the blog yet over the next few days. So I'm not done yet, keep checking back.


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