Today was our first day with our new watch officers. If you read the last blog post you'll know that after two weeks with our first set of watch officers we have now switched and are onto our second stage, shadowing. Which meant today C-Watch had its first watch under the direction of Carolyn (2nd mate) and Jordan (2nd scientist).
Izzy and our amazing Engineer JC checking oil levels in the small boat.
This morning I was on deck with Carolyn and was the first person to shadow during our morning watch (7am - 1pm) aka my favorite watch. A side note for anyone who knows me - I am still not a morning person, however, I love having a full night of sleep before watch and getting to see the sunrise over the ocean which combined really puts this watch on top.
The shadowing stage basically means that one person during each watch closely follows either the mate or scientist (depending if you are on deck of in lab) for all six hours to see everything they do as well as hear what is going on in their head as they make decisions. It is a time for us as students to learn even more and really understand the reason behind the sail handling or science processing that we are doing.
Shadowing is by no means a silent observer position. This morning none of us had shadowed so we did not fully comprehend what that entailed but I quickly learned that it was kind of like Junior Watch officer boot camp. Carolyn had me do all of her usual logging tasks for all the deployments (since it was morning watch there were a LOT of deployments from the science deck), organize our watch as to who was doing the hourly boat checks and weather observations, as well as deciding what time to gybe in order to heave to on a port tack for science and then calling all the instructions to gybe. While it was overwhelming at first, I learned even more than I usually do in our six-hour watch (which is no small feat as I came in with zero sailing knowledge).
Carolyn always discussed with me about how to do any action before she had me do them, like go over the steps for our gybe so that I was comfortable with what I needed to say and the understanding behind it. I now have a better idea of all the responsibilities the mates have while on watch and all the small tasks that they make sure are completed each watch. While I am definitely not ready for being a junior watch officer, today was a big step forward in becoming comfortable with all the responsibilities that come with it. During dawn watch tomorrow (1am - 7am) a different person will shadow Carolyn and all of us will continue to listen and ask questions in order to better understand our ship Mamma Cramer.
Elena at the helm while Carolyn and Emma discuss wind direction for the upcoming gybe.
A random tidbit you might enjoy: Today's weather is beautiful and the first full day we aren't sweating our sunscreen off the minute we put it on! This is huge as it is always hotter below deck which makes sleeping a sweaty activity. I even wore a long sleeve shirt over my tank top for the first part of morning watch. The temperature hovered between 23 - 25 degrees Celsius this morning.
To friends and family: Happy belated (by 1 day) birthday mom! Love you and padre lots! Please cuddle with Maizy for me and send any extra desserts to 1465 Saint Clair. To the Mac golf team good luck at conference!
- Emma Iverson, C- Watch, Macalester College