Ahoy Mateys! Hello all the way from Nuku’alofa, Tonga! After a long day of data organization and ship cleaning yesterday, we set sail at 0500 this morning towards the capital of Tonga and arrived around 1330. It was all hands on deck as we helped safely get Bobby C. Seamans into dock. Myself and a few of my watch members were tasked with putting covers on the sails, which is a lot harder than it looks. It took us a good hour to wrap the folded sails into bright blue covers, tying lines (we don’t call them ropes here) around them to protect them from the sun when not in use. Docking is a pretty busy time on the ship and there is always something to be done! After we were sure all tasks were completed, we mustered and were given some free time to explore on shore. A few of us went to a café where we enjoyed refreshing smoothies and maybe too much cake. Lucky for us Sabrina is making my favorite – mac and cheese – for dinner!
I thought that I would talk a little about how watches work, especially since B Watch IS the best watch, and we will be rotating our watch officers in the next few days. There are 9 of us in B watch, along with two officers – currently Ava and Farley. Since the ship can NEVER be left unattended and boat checks (and anchor checks when needed) are to be done every hour, A, B, or C watch will be “on” for 6 hours at a time and “off” for the remaining time (most of this is sleeping and eating). During our watch, we are separated into jobs. The first being “Deck” where we serve as lookout at the bow, steer at the helm, perform boat checks, help with navigation, maneuver sails, and clean up the deck. We also do LOTS of line coiling! The second job we could be assigned is “Lab”, where we perform science! This can include neuston tows, zooplankton counts, water sampling and testing, and so much more. We are also rotated one at a time to be with the engineers for a day, be a steward and pick our favorite meal to cook, and of course help with dishes. Not to mention chores! There is always so much going on at one time and being attentive on watch is crucial to everyone’s safety, learning, and of course fun! Our watch group becomes sort of a family within a larger family, and we lean on one another and learn from one aother in so many new ways each day. Thanks B watch for being truly the B-est watch, and a shoutout to Ava and Farley for being awesome watch officers for the first leg of this trip.
And, a hello to the family, Mia, Bear, Nick, and big congrats to Anthony for graduating basic training!
Sea you soon!
- Adrianna Calamita, B Watch, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry