The third day at sea has seen class S-304 start settling into a routine. We have adjusted to the new sleep schedule, albeit with the copious amounts of coffee. The first two days of sailing were quite pleasant with temperatures in the 70-80 Fahrenheit range; with sunscreen to protect us all have been well. Today we saw many squalls off on the horizon and most likely will have a choppy night, though those of us not on watch can sleep soundly knowing Captain Rick is on board.
Jason uses a sextant during class.
The most challenging aspect so far has been lack of space and limited water usage. The bunks themselves are quite spacious, but with the added stowage of bags and other knickknacks they can feel a bit cramped. Limiting water use means showers only once every three days which while is fine, can feel a bit gross. However one thing we never have to worry about is food. A full stomach fends off seasickness and we certainly are encouraged to eat and keep up our energy.
Learning how to sample seawater and learn navigation is one thing, but really the best part of S-304 is being at sea. I myself am from the East Coast and have never seen a blue so brilliant as that of the Pacific. The Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Long Island NY seems grey and squalid by comparison. Watching the seabirds circling the boat and roosting in the masts, feeling the ship rock as one mans the helm navigating by stars in a tranquil night, and working hard without the distractions of constant pings from a phone are what have made me happy as of late.
- Jason M. Epstein, B Watch, Penn State University