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July 20, 2015 - Day 1: San Diego, Here We Come.

Posted by admin on July 20, 2015

The flights to San Diego were all over the map, as Michael and I were the first two people on the team to arrive in San Diego, and the rest trickled in throughout the day today. I was the first to arrive at 11:30am Sunday morning as I was on full tourist mode to go sight-seeing before work had to be done. I checked in to the cheapest motel I could find, Motel 6, and waited for Michael to land at 3:00 in the evening. Hot and humid, I walked the streets of Little Italy as the air slowly suffocated me with heat. A few hours later, it started drizzling and Michael's flight was delayed two more hours due to the inconvenient weather in what was supposed to be Sunny San Diego. Finally, after waiting 40 minutes in the pouring rain for the 992 bus to come, I made it back to the airport to meet up with Michael. Tired and exhausted, we picked up a quick supper at Jack in the Box and quickly fell into a deep sleep, just waiting for the what was in store for us the next day.

In the morning, Michael and I both went for separate runs down the famous San Diego Harbour. Feeling refreshed and happy, we decided to waste some time in the morning to go to a classic cafe in Little Italy. After our morning adventure, we quickly took a shuttle car to our next hotel to wait for the rest of the team to arrive. Upon arrival at the Bayside Holiday Inn, we took it upon ourselves to get the crate that contained AquaUrsa in it. I stared at Michael as a million thoughts suddenly scrambled through my mind.

"Michael, how are the two of us going to move this crate?" He answered saying that I was strong enough to hold one side of it and he will hold the other side. 'Ha. That's a funny joke' I thought as we waited for the worker to show up with the keys to the room where this 500 lb crate was held in. The delightful workers at the hotel volunteered to help us move this crate to our room. Thank goodness that crisis was now averted.

After all of the contents of the crate were emptied into our room, we met up with Mikey in the hotel lobby. Three team members down and in San Diego, four more to wait for.

Veselin was the next to arrive an hour and a half before orientation started. Alvin soon strolled in, holding the keys to a rented car for our convenience to get around San Diego for the next week. Jamie was supposed to land at 5:30, but her plane got delayed until 9:30. I guess we'll just have to wait for her as well! With most of the team rounded up, we headed towards orientation, excited for what the rest of the day will bring.

After a two minute walk from our rooms to the ballroom, we went in. Teams from all over the world flowed into the room, too many for me to count, and too fast for me to notice where they were all from. Everyone settled into their seats, waiting for the event to start. Suddenly, water started falling from the ceiling onto some unsuspecting people. Immediately, they got out of the way and stared at the tiny waterfall dripping from this roof. The mystery of the leaking ceiling went unsolved as everyone laughed it off and the event proceeded. Rules were discussed, procedures for the competition delivered, questions asked, and an hour later we were out of there and ready to get started on our robots.

Since we had so much pool testing this year already, we thought that it was going to be an easy first night for us, because all we had to do was get AquaUrsa to go underwater and through the gate sometime in the next three days to qualify for semifinals. Unfortunately, that was not the case. Having no electrical engineers really took a toll on us as we scrambled for internet to skype Rumman, our extremely smart electrical team lead who, unfortunately, could not make it to the competition this year. Impressing everyone, Alvin, our co-team lead who is not in electrical engineering, fixed the wiring with the SubConn and the IMU and we were back on track! Jamie's flight was delayed yet again, now it was planned for her to land around midnight. So we played the waiting game while fixing the little problems on AquaUrsa.

Midnight came and we were ready to pick Jamie up. It turns out she missed her flight and was scheduled to arrive at 9:30 in the morning. Some stayed up throughout the night and some fell asleep, myself included, and we will see what's in store for us on Day 2. See you tomorrow!

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