Shark Lab

Preparing for the High Seas

With his second trip to the Southern Indian Ocean within a month’s view, Paul has started his somewhat ceremonial preparations of sorting what he has and shopping for what he needs for a successful scientific journey. Luckily this year he has the hands of UROC interns to help him prepare at PSRC.

To start, Paul and the interns sorted through his pile of materials to inventory the resources he has left over from his last trip to the high seas, such as waterproof tags and notebooks, vials and measuring tools like sliding calipers and measuring tapes.

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The trickiest of them all were the numbered waterproof tags that Paul used on his last trip. Sticky wet with oils and dirt, these tags looked good as done, and if they’re stuck together in piles, they’ll never dry! While Paul could throw them away then print brand new ones, UROC interns Maddy and Kayla tried an impromptu method to clean and dry the old ones for Paul to reuse on his next trip. How innovative and resourceful! Here’s what to do:

1. Wash piles of tags in hot soapy water, separating then wiping each tag clean of goop or oils.
2. Lay individual tags in rows on a dry towel. Make sure not to overlap them or they won’t dry!
3. Once the towel is covered in rows of tags, cover them with a new towel.
4. Repeat process until you run out of tags.
5. Also replace hot soapy water when it gets too dirty
6. After all the tags are laid out to dry in their neat little rows, roll the towels together into a big burrito-style roll.
7. Put burrito-ed towels into a home dry-cleaning bag (like Dryel’s or other brand)
8. Pop the bag into the dyer on delicate and run on the “no heat” cycle for about an hour or two or until tags are bone dry! This might take a few cycles.
9. Shake up the bag between cycles and use a couple of anti-static sheets if you like.

Follow those steps, and you’ll have old waterproof tags looking like new for your next tagging adventure. Thanks Maddy and Kayla!

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