Hello family and friends of our boat family onboard the lovely Cramer! First off, happy birthday to one of my fellow C watchers, Anna! Today was a day full of celebration, Halloween preparation, and cleaning. And the wind is now in our favor, so we have returned to sailing south (woohoo!), continuing to make our way towards the Caribbean.
The science team - Jenna, Jeff, Katherine, Jordan, and Matt (left to right) dressed as Winnie the Pooh, Krusty the Crab, a flying squirrel, a narwhal, and a penguin - brings Halloween and creature feature spirit to class in onesies!
Onshore, one of the phrases we often heard when preparing for life on the ship was "if you can't get out of it, get into it" and I think our Saturday tradition of field day embodies the mantra well. It is a music filled, rocky, and often sweaty two hours of showing Mamma Cramer how much we love and appreciate her, as Rocky (1st mate) likes to say. And I realized quickly into my time here that 31 people all sharing the same small spaces calls for some TLC. It's so fun walking through the ship and hearing all of the different songs playing from each of the speakers stationed throughout the ship, singing along if I know the lyrics, and grabbing some candy corn on the go. Not only is field day a time when everyone comes together and busts out the microfibers and Envirox, but it also marks another weeks passing, and I can't believe that there are only two more Saturdays left on our voyage.
As other bloggers have stated, time as we're used to is warped onboard. Days mush together, weeks go by in a flash, and 9:00 pm (2100) is my new bedtime. However, there are moments throughout the day that are consistently my favorite. Afternoon snack on deck when the weather allows is one of them. It's usually after a fun and exciting class when everyone on the ship is together snacking away on something delicious, chatting, and always laughing. After snack if I'm not on watch, I love sitting on the head rig (the net under the bowsprit) or on top of the lab to watch the sunset and appreciate everything and everyone I'm surrounded by. Nighttime on deck is another one of my favorite times. I watched my first moonrise over the horizon a few weeks ago and it was gorGIEous (as you would say mom). Although the 1:00 am wakeup for dawn watch is a wee bit early for my taste (and the usual culprit of my sleepy sniffles - name courtesy of Megan), it is the perfect time to stargaze on a cloudless night, and there is always someone close by to answer my constellation questions.
I am constantly realizing how much I don't know and I love it! As of yesterday, creature features have officially started where pairs of students present about a chosen type of zooplankton. We heard from Taylor and Allen about Isopods, the roly-polys of the deep, and from Megan and Paige about Siphonophores, the colonizing jellies of the sea. If I'm out of my bunk, I am most likely learning something new--recently, it's been about the steps to gybe, points of sail, pterapod identification, Neuston tow processing, and preparing to be a junior watch officer. I have felt so grateful to have the opportunity to live in a truly immersed environment without any distractions and be able learn from so many different resources and from so many cool people.
Anne, Phoenix, Alec, Paige, and Brier work to make the galley spotless for our incredible stewards on Field Day.
Whether it be random polls on the science observation board (such as, which head is the best head? or what is the best pocket food?) writing haikus in lab, diapers on the main salon ceiling (to catch the rust water aka boat juice), a tiny plastic pig (named Bo) tied to the actual pig (a weight attached to science deployments), songs stuck in people's head, seeing the first tropic bird of the trip (which was today!), counting pterapods in the library, or singing and listening to guitar and ukulele at twilight, all of the little moments are what has made this time so incredible. As I write this on Halloween Eve, I am excited for a spooky dawn watch and the spooky activities to come. Wishing you all well.
- Stephanie Friedman, C Watch, Whitman College
P.S. Mom, Dad, Kieran, and Jane I love you and miss you all so much! No need to worry I haven't gotten sunburned yet mom, and dad, we have dodged any and all cyclones. I hope you are all having a wonderful and exciting fall in all parts of the world. Give Lacie a hug and kiss for me!
P.P.S. On behalf of Paige Bell, I hope the Bell farm is doing well! ?