Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Day #1: Let the Adventure Begin!

Monday, June 4, 2012 
I have arrived. After about 17 hours of travel, by plane, train, bus and car, I have arrived in the beautiful small town of Vollenhove, in the Netherlands. So, it turns out that we will be working at the Delta Flume in the Netherlands, not Germany, as I had been told earlier. Below is a map of the Netherlands, Vollenhove is about 14 miles (22.5 Kilometers) North West of Zwolle which you should be able to locate on the map. I hope that helps to give you all a sense of where we are located. It has been a bit of a soggy day here, it has been raining since I have arrived in the Amsterdam airport this morning.

 After arriving in Vollenhove, I went straight to the Delta Flume, wave simulator, where we will be working for the next two weeks. When I arrived, I was in shock at the size of the structure; it is 5 meters wide, 240 meters long, and 7 meters deep; it is absolutely huge! I will be sure to post pictures so you can see for yourselves. I promptly put on a hard hat, and headed down the ladder into the flume to meet the other scientists,to see what equipment they were setting up in the flume, and provide any assistance I could with setting up. They will be spending the next three days setting up the equipment in the flume before it is filled with water by the end of Wednesday. I have posted a picture of me below sporting a lovely yellow hard hat in the Flume placing a clamp on the frame.

There are 22 scientists total that have come together from all over the world to work as a team to study how beaches change over time due to wave erosion. It is amazing how many different experiments are being set up in the flume. They each have their individual experiments that they will be setting up and conducting in the flume, but they all work very well together. They have travelled from Australia, Germany, Denmark, Belgium, UK, France, Lebanon, and the United States. I look forward to learning about each of their experiments, as well as more about life and culture of where they are from.

The campground that we are staying at is conveniently a 10 or 15 minutes bike ride to the Delta Flume where we will be working, and it looks like about half of the group will bike to the flume everyday. I look forward riding a bike to and from the flume. We have a total of three comfortable cabins and several tents that are near one another which makes it convenient for cooking dinners together. 

 For those of you who were interested, I found out the flume is filled with 1,400 cubic meters of river sand which is slightly under 3,700 tons of sand which cost 30,000 Euros (37,400 dollars). Who would of thought sand could cost so much! I am unsure of what they will do with the sand after the project, but I suspect that it will get re-used in some way at the flume.

The time change is 6 hours ahead from back in New Hampshire, so I think it will take me at least a day or so to get acclimated to the time difference. Also, it doesn't get dark here until about 10:30 or 11:00 pm which is also a bit deceiving, and interesting when you are trying to go to bed at that time. Well that is all for today.

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