A Day of Night

Author: Ava Stasiw, Chief Mate

Dawn watch.

Dawn watch.

Ship's Log

Position
41° 24.6’N X 141° 17.6’W

Heading
060° psc

Speed
4.5 knots

Sail Plan
Four lowers and jib tops’l

Weather
Overcast, stratocumulus

Wind
NWxN. Force 3

Description of location
893 nautical miles WNW of San Francisco, CA

Souls on Board

By now, it’s no surprise to our readers that life is patterned differently out here on the ocean. Time is no exception. I think the way it works in my mind is that our weeks are three land days, and our days are 18 land hours. We “work” for six of those hours, sleep for six, and for the other six we eat, socialize, shower, do laundry… or think about doing laundry and maybe even get some homework done. In a three day week, we stand the full rotation of each of four watches: Morning, Afternoon, Evening, and Dawn.

Dawn watch has always been my favorite. This morning is no exception. I think you all are familiar with our companions, the ever-present stratusclouds, so I can’t say it’s because of the sky so full of stars that it appears furry, or the bright and ever-changing moon, or even the promise of a glorious sunrise because those friends are not always on time these days. Somehow it’s still my favorite though, so I’m having to reevaluate why. This morning, I think it was the way our student JWO shadows organized and ran the rotation of duties. The way the deck team relayed information about the status of a passing vessel to me and each other maintaining a vigilant watch and learning how to use the radar to determine the relative motion of our vessels, ensuring a safe passing distance. At 0400 electronic bearing lines and variable range markers are thrilling stuff.

And of course, there’s the glooming. The first blue (okay, blue/grey) light of dawn. It doesn’t seem like light at all at first, simply a slight variation in color temperature. And now you’re no longer thinking about crawling back into your rack, no matter how chilly or tired you have been. I like to take a moment to take it in, then invite everyone to some iteration of dawn yoga on the quarterdeck. Highly recommend. Then the fun begins: time for wakeups, Jun Ru catching the rare morning star with a sextant sight, Nathan sharing his favorite moments playing bass clarinet as he steers us into a shimmering golden glow spreading out ahead of us on the water. Another dawn watch in the books. Time for breakfast, a day of naps, and this evening, we’ll say our farewells to the giant ball of gas that greeted us sleepily from behind its shrouds of water vapor some twelve hours prior.

- Ava Stasiw, Chief Mate

PS: Special shout out to my favorite human on the other side of the world for tomorrow: Happy birthday my love! Thanks for supporting me on another great adventure and I can’t wait to see you soon!

Contact: Douglas Karlson, Director of Communications, 508-444-1918 | dkarlson@sea.edu

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