If you’ve been reading the blog regularly, you may have noticed a mention of “local apparent noon” in a post or two. The term refers to an important daily time for celestial navigation: the moment when the sun is at its highest point above us that day. At this time, we can measure the height of the sun above the horizon and calculate our latitude. Because this peak height does not usually occur exactly at 12 noon, we call it our “local apparent noon.”
Lucy smiling up at the Pride flag while waiting to deploy the CTD with Süpi and Bella.
While voyaging, we refer to many at-sea variations of shore-based occurrences with the moniker “local apparent.” For example, we often refer to our “local apparent Friday” as the night when we have evening watch (1900 to 0100). This is because after evening watch you get to sleep in as long as you want to the next morning, no wakeup in sight! We also have an unfortunately small number of birthdays happening during our voyage, so we’ve discussed having a “local apparent birthday” celebration for folks with half-birthdays during the trip.
My personal choice has been to deem the duration of our voyage in the high seas to be “local apparent Pride month.” I brought a boat-sized Pride flag on board with me and, when we reached the high seas, I got to set it as one of our weather indicator flags. As the only openly trans nonbinary person aboard, I feel pretty lonely being separated from my community back home.
Being able to look up and see the Pride flag flying high has been a great comfort to me throughout the trip. I heard from our Chief Mate that sometimes students will bring a flag from their home country to fly on board, but that this is the first time he has witnessed someone bring a Pride flag. I feel really happy to be able to honor myself, the other LGBTQ+ crewmembers on board, and our queer community as a whole while out here at sea. In a time of great xenophobia and renewed imperialism, I am proud to be part of a community whose spirit embodies inclusivity and liberation. I love looking up and feeling my mood instantly brightens when I see the rainbow colors waving above me.
Happily for me, we’ll be returning to land just in time for shore-based Pride month to be starting! I am looking forward to seeing how weathered my boat flag gets while it whips in the wind this month, and then being able to take it home with me as a memento from this journey.
Sending a big Happy Birthday hug to my bestie Sonja!! Ushering in Taurus season with all your dazzle, I trust! To all my friends and fam back home, I love you and miss you and can’t wait to see your faces soon! xoxoxo