Bittersweet

December 19, 2021

Author: Carly Cooper, University of South Carolina

Students in the main salon working on their project presentations.

Ship's Log

Position
20°47.4’ N x 156° 30.2’ W

Taffrail Log
3746.7 nm

Description of location
Anchored at Maalaea Bay (Maui)

Weather
Winds: NxW Force 6

Souls on Board

Today all started with our friendly local engineer waking me up an 0600 to stand anchor watch with a couple of my watchmates. We had one hour to complete two half hour anchor checks, one hourly boat check, an hourly weather log, wake up all of C watch at 0600 and the rest of the boat at 0640. It was a fun way to start the morning and we experimented with some unique wakeups to switch up the routine. We had a delightful breakfast thanks to our amazing stewards, and then we all did some boat chores.

By about 0830 everything had settled and almost everyone was working on their projects. It reminds me a lot of the library at home right before finals - slightly stressful, a little chaotic, and somehow still fun.  I asked some of my shipmates to write down some memories that they have from our journey so that we could all reminisce, and so that we could share them with you. Here are some of the memories we wrote down:

  • Seeing the stars move across the whole sky during night and dawn watches in the middle of the ocean
  • Playing "dodge-squall" in the ITCZ (good type 2 fun)
  • Seeing a ton of shooting stars and now rainbows!
  • Going snorkeling with Adam and hearing him make whale sounds the whole time
  • The pod of whales that surrounded us for almost two hours off of Maui during dawn watch
  • Speaking in a language of beeps, and everyone having their own unique beep
  • A chorus of "pink drink" being sung at every meal every time fruit punch is served
  • Creating science reports/creature features on our scientists
  • Only talking about zooplankton in a southern accent
  • Standing my first dawn watch during a lunar eclipse and my last during the Geminids meteor shower
  • Learning the constellations and taking sights from them
  • Playing guess that student/crew (forced family fun)
  • Sliding around the galley during galley cleanup while in force 6 winds
  • Seeing a baby dolphin swimming below the head rig

It has been such an amazing adventure so far and there are so many more memories like this that we'll all hold on to forever. Living on this boat with the same 33 people for almost 6 weeks has been the experience of a lifetime, and some of the best days of my life have happened on this ship. You know you've got something good when you're gonna miss scrubbing the deck, waking up at 1 am for watch, constantly being dirty (maybe a little stinky), or spending hours in the lab doing acid rinses or counting dots in a microscope. So here's to all of my shipmates - students and crew, for making this journey the most epic adventure ever.

And to all my family and friends back home, I can't wait to see you all soon! Much love from Maui ?

- Carly Cooper, University of South Carolina

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

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