Flying despite Corona

March 2, 2020

While waiting for our laundry, we enjoyed the company of fellow cruisers on the patio of the marina office. This little gecko snacked on insects while we chatted.

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Gecko chilling under evening lamp at Vero Beach, FL

March 5, 2020

On my run this morning I spotted a monarch butterfly.

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We’ve decided to stay in Vero until I fly out of Florida, and then Eric will be solo sailing while I complete a work project.

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Sunset in Vero Beach, FL

 

March 6, 2020

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Sunrise in the mooring field

Today we took the rental car down towards Stuart, where we visited the Florida Oceanographic Coastal Center. There we hiked around the mangroves, viewed some of their indoor displays and their outdoor aquarium.

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They had four sea turtles that suffer from “bubble butt” where due to their injuries they are no longer able to control their buoyancy, and instead float at the surface of the water. Apparently its difficult to tell the gender of a sea turtle until they reach sexual maturity around the age of 25 years old, so most of their turtles’ names seemed kind of funny, like Lilly the male loggerhead sea turtle.

They are also home for nurse sharks that had outgrown their previous aquariums. There were many fish swimming around including black drums, sheepshead, and pompanos. The Coastal Center gets their sea water directly from the Atlantic piped just a short distance from the ocean, which makes this large outdoor aquarium a feasible endeavor.

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In the evening we stopped by the opening of the art exhibit that our friends had put together. I was really proud to see one of my art pieces hanging on the wall, my first exhibit! There were twenty five artists shown in this creative space, such a fantastic experience. Thanks Off Island Studio!

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The introduction to “Art Anonymous” art exhibit in Vero Beach, FL

 

March 7, 2020

Today I landed in Colorado.

My entire trip reeked of hand sanitizer. Everyone seemed cautious, but not overly concerned. I kept reminding myself not to touch my face. I think I’ve made it through unscathed, but only time will tell.

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Sun setting as the bus left Denver International Airport

 

March 8, 2020

My cat Zelda is happy that I’m here and doesn’t want me to leave again. Or she just enjoys sleeping on my stuff.

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Cat in a duffel; Zelda’s favorite beds are places that are not beds

March 9, 2020

Spring is arriving in the Foothills of Colorado.

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Fancy crocus flower? Absolutely beautiful.

Walking around Old Town, Fort Collins I visited a few of my favorite stores and spotted this gem outside Old Firehouse Bookstore:

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I love puns

March 10, 2020

Despite growing concern about the coronavirus, I volunteered at the Western Collaborative Conservation Network‘s inaugural Confluence, a conference bringing together conservation practitioners and collaborative groups all across the western United States.

I wasn’t sure I would be in town in time, so I’m very excited to participate. I found out that it was still possible for me to host a poster during one of the sessions, so at 11pm I was drafting content and painting for my display. Who needs sleep amiright?

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Late night water color

 

March 11, 2020

I presented the poster I made late last night. Considering it was a last-minute attempt, I’m pretty proud to have learned that I presented concepts on facilitating collaboration that folks talked about well after the session ended. Success!

Although one of the university cleaning staff did ask about the age of folks who made their posters >_<  I was the only poster that didn’t have access to a printer, okay?! I don’t think the conference participants held that against me at least.

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My poster session at WCCN’s Confluence 2020

 

I also assisted with facilitating several sessions as other volunteers and speakers decided not to attend due to health risks. I’m glad I was able to help this event run smoothly, and support the people who put so much effort into making this event happen.

I had a really great time and I hope that no one got sick because of traveling for such an important meeting.

I’m watching the frenzy  and panic about the coronavirus, and I wonder if I should have just stayed on the boat.

But I’ve got an exciting project for work, and I’m ready to get it done.

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