Dawn Watch Delirium

December 4, 2023

Author: Nick Graves, Cornell University

Lab Rave Photoshoot during Dawn Watch

Ship's Log

4 December 2023Current Position: 39°36.028’ S, 177° 37.635’ EShip’s Heading & Speed: 048° true, 3.5 knotsWeather: Cloudy (8/8) and windy

Dear Outside World,I feel like I have lived many lifetimes in the past 24 hours. I started offthe day (night?) at 0030 with a wakeup for my dawn watch. After a few dawnwatches under my belt, I think I have mastered how to get ready in 10minutes in pitch dark while being pushed around by the crashing waves.Olivia, Jess, and I reported to the lab ready to sort and identify thezooplankton that were caught the watch before. Our coolest find was aman-of-war jellyfish digesting a myctophid fish in its tentacles. Weprocessed all the zoop goop all through the night (morning?) until 0700. Atsome point during all the zooplankton madness, the dawn watch delirium setin and manifested itself as having an impromptu photoshoot in the lab. Wefinished off our watch singing sea shanties with B Watch while setting themains’l. For all you land-dwellers, that is what we call the main sail. 100%true fun fact and totally not a generalization: sailors hate vowels.While A Watch rested after breakfast, B Watch took to the deck and kept theSeamans chugging along towards Napier. I am stoked to see more of AotearoaNew Zealand and even more excited to eat ice cream. I took for granted allthe small luxuries of land life that are scarce on the ship -- ice cream,laundry, listening to music, and texts from my friends and family. Still,the Seamans gives in ways that I did not expect. The ship has her cornersthat are perfect for reading. My fiction books have been an essential partof my self-care routine on the ship. Ironic how books have become my escapefrom the outside world despite the fact I am literally sailing in the SouthPacific.During class today, we had our lab practical. We rotated through 24 stationstesting our knowledge on lab deployments, data collection, processing, andsafety. It has been rewarding seeing my own growth as a scientist during thepast few days. I remember the first day feeling overwhelmed by all the labequipment during orientation. Now I can confidently process samples andcollect data, even when the sea is actively throwing me off my lab stool.Our victory snack was biscuits made by our exemplar galley staff – Ashley,Morgan, and our student steward of the day Annie Grace. The galley is thebeating heart of this ship. They boost our morale and their delicious mealsare the only constant in this dynamic environment. I plan my entire dayaround Ashley’s creations and am completely devastated if I sleep through asnack ration.Speaking of food, I have another watch rotation after dinner from 1900 to0100. Lately, I feel that all I ever do is watch, sleep, eat, and read. It’srepetitive and exhausting but I enjoy staying busy.Kia Ora,Nick GravesCornell UniversityP.S.Felíz Cumpleaños Mami. Te extraño mucho y espero que lo pases bien. Aunqueno puedo pasar este dia especial contigo, por lo menos vamos a ver la mismaluna esta noche. Abraza Andre y Rolando por mi.Te extraño mucho mi cielo. Every day I count down the days till I will seeyou again on Christmas Day. I can’t wait to tell you about all I have beendoing and hear all about your Prague adventures. I love you so much Kenny.Happy Birthday Jeff! We miss you tons and Napier will not be the samewithout you.

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One Comment

  1. Paola Sanz-Guerrero December 6, 2023 at 12:41 - Reply

    Gracias por los saludos de cumpleaños! Thank you for my Birthday Greetings! I loved reading your blog.
    Te amo mucho!

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