We have officially entered the waters of the Caribbean Sea, and this morning at exactly 1129, the island of Virgin Gorda, BVIs was spotted (while I was tucked away in my bunk after an early dawn watch). Definitely a strange sight for all after being surrounded by only open ocean for the past 30 days. After realizing just how close we are to returning to society, mixed emotions have been emerging. Some are excited to reconnect, others never want to text again. Some are ready to be home, others wish the journey was longer.
Katherine (3rd scientist), Anna, and Stephanie (me) preparing to deploy Styrofoam cups that everyone decorated. We sent them down almost 2000 meters, and they returned miniature!
But I think something we all share is excitement for the adventure-filled days to come, and sadness knowing that we will have to say goodbye to the family we created as our final days approach. The last 24 hours, our last full day of watches before anchoring in St. John, were ones for the books, so I’ve decided to share a few moments that stood out to me through a series of haikus:
Dawn watch in the lab
Processed first two meter net
Cool critter* galore
*cool critters=myctophids, viper fish, stomatopods, iridescent fish larvae,
colonial salps, and more!
Land ho! An island!
Dolphins under the bowsprit!
All while I’m asleep
Chia seed pudding
Squishy squish in my mouth - yum!
Someone said fish eggs :I
A land animal touched me?
How strange and bizarre
Climbed aloft. Looked down.
Small people on a small boat
Ocean for miles
Pastel colors of wavelets
Neon sun disappears
Evening watch on deck
Course, speed, wind, rain, and sail stuff
Lots to keep track of
Beautiful sunset starring a waxing crescent moon and Venus!
In the past few days, I have found myself asking so many questions. What will walking on land feel like? What will St. Croix be like? What will returning to cell service be like? How will I say goodbye to the ship and the amazing people on it? But I’ve realized that the only answer to these questions is that time will tell. With only six days left, rather than worry about the future, I am going to try to be present in the moment and enjoy each experience as it comes along.
- Stephanie Friedman, C Watch, Whitman College
P.S. To the fam, I hope all is well! I can’t wait to tell you about everything and I can’t wait to hear about everything I’ve missed in your lives. I wish the trip was longer, but I’m also so excited to see you! Love you all so much <3 <3 <3