Today was a wonderfully unusual day, from 0100-0700 some C watch comrades and I were processing data from our surface (Neuston Net) tow and our at depth (approx. 100m Meter Net) tow, both nets were deployed by B watch on evening station before us (1900-0100). It was our last chance to find some elusive phyllosoma (spiny lobster larva) and sadly we didn't find any. After that some of us went to bed, an unusual thing to do since we were "on watch" but because there was so little wind at night we "hove to" basically parking the Cramer in the middle of the ocean, slowly drifting downwind.
Jeff Schell (Chief Scientist), Sil (Eager Student again) dissecting a Mahi mahi for the lab that would later on end up on our dinner plate.
I stayed up the whole watch period as I had already downed a liter of coffee (a regular part of my dawn watch routine now) and therefore knew that I probably would not be able to fall asleep anyway.
I spent some time chatting with Katherine (the scientist on our watch), doing hourly boat checks (colloquially called "ripping boaties"), looking at the stars and trying to shoot them with a sextant and consequently failing at that, and I sang some shanties at the deep blue as I watched the sun come up.
After breakfast at 0700 I went to bed and woke at around 1000, I had a wonderful conversation with Mateo, our guest PhD student from France, who studies just a stone's throw away from where I used to visit my grandparents every summer.
Casually tossing myself overboard (emergency trunks came in handy)
I drew some sketches in my Sheet Anchor, Will Muir, the engineer walked me through reduction of star sights (we did his sights as I had failed getting a good fix), afterwards we all mustered on the quarterdeck for field day.
On field day, as Chief Mate Rocky says, "we show Mama Cramer our appreciation" by doing one good clean of the ship all together. After 2 hours we finished cleaning all nooks and crannies of the ship and it was time for a reward.
With almost flat seas and hardly any wind, Captain Rebecca made the call, the swim call. Shortly after she utters the words "pool is open" my feet part ways with the bowsprit and for the 2 seconds of freefall all I see is blue skies, blue seas, a bully good ship and a bully good crew. Then water runs up my nose and my eyes start itching, and I realize I have to stand watch again at 1900 and still write a paper.
Sunsets from the quarterdeck with the stack (Course, Top and Raffee) set truly capture the beauty of the trip.
Ps: Looking forward to seeing you Mum and Dad and maybe getting a haircut as the caveman look is quite hot 😉 I hope you had some success with getting me new glasses (thanks for trying anyway). I'm sure Tiddo and Ollie will have a wonderful time together taking care of one another, meanwhile I hope Phoebe is behaving.
PPS: Thank you Craig and Lana for taking care of my stuff that I left in Woods Hole.
PPPS: Thank you Captain Chris and Captain Sandy for the lessons in Leadership, I had my first day as Junior Watch Officer today and nothing broke.
- Sil Kiewiet de Jonge - College of the Atlantic - C Watch
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