It has already been 3 days on the boat! Crazy! Time so far has been so amazing but it has been a bit difficult adjusting to the constant rocking of the boat. Took me a day and a half to get my sea legs but once I got used to it, I felt amazing. At the beginning of our sea journey, I did feel a bit sea sick but my fellow crew helped me feel better.
Today has been amazing so far! I had my first night watch last night starting on June 5th at 7:00 pm and ended on June 6th around 1:00 am. I was stationed in the lab for the night with Supi and Sydney! We first started the watch out with processing and doing a 100 count of the all zooplankton the previous watch caught in the neuston tow. We saw a lot of copepods in that one. Soon after that, my fellow watch mates all worked together to help with galley clean up. We all split up tasks to make the process easier and faster on each of us. When we finished, the three of us head back to the lab and we talked about how we were going to set out our third neuston tow. Since we were just drifting the rest of the watch team all sat together and discussed our safety jobs and what to do in an emergency. Once it was around the time where we were going to launch the net, we all worked together to make sure that everything was perfect. Once the net was dropped in the water I collected and sampled some water during the tow which was fun to do. When we took the net out of the water, I was rinsing it and saw some bioluminescence which was so cool to see in person. When we looked at what we caught, our chief scientist noticed that we caught 16 baby octopuses. It was so cool to see! By the time we looked at all the things we caught it was almost time for bed but then we had to strike the jib which is a sail on the front of the boat and I got to go out on the net and tie the sail up. After that it was finally bed time after a long day and shift. C watch had a wake up call at 7:00 am. We had a delicious breakfast and headed to the spot where we are currently anchored. Being able to sit out on the boat and just to be outside and look around me and appreciate where I am is one of my favorite times on the boat so far. We anchored around 8:00 am and then our chief scientist and two of our reef techs took the rescue boat out and went to find a perfect reef to snorkel. The bay that we are in is Makena Bay which is cool cause its so similar to my name. (Don't worry mom and dad, Sydney took a photo of me standing on the boat with the beach in the background).The reef that they found is also going to be the reef that we are going to use for our reef surveys tomorrow! Around 11 my group and I went out to the reef and got to snorkel around for like 30 minutes. This reef was very different compared to the other reefs we have been snorkeling at. We saw a sea turtle, some really cool fishes, a lot of urchins of all different types, and a huge box fish that I swam right next to. We got back to Seamans and ate lunch then the other half of the students head out to the snorkel. The rest of the day C watch was on watch so we were all switching between jobs and doing boat and anchor checks. I was scheduled to go in the galley but since our lovely steward already prepped food for dinner I got to go hang out on the quarterdeck and relax. We got to do Aloft training which is being able to climb up the posts. It was so cool to be able to go up that high, although it was a little scary it was beautiful and I will most likely spending some more time up there when we are allowed to. After that I was able to help some more in the galley and then dinner was up. We had a delicious pork, mashed potato, and ceasar salad. The sunset tonight was so beautiful. I'm so happy to be here but I am for sure getting exhausted because the way our watch schedule has been set up our watch hasn't been able to get a full nights rest. My watch group has been amazing. We have such a great dynamic together and we all have been working together to have fun and learn as much as we can. I can't wait for the next two weeks. I am feeling homesick and miss people from home. Everyone on this whole program is also so amazing. Hi Mom, Dad, Bella, Nik, and Sadie of course. I miss you guys so much. I wish I could call you guys and tell you guys everything I've been doing and seeing. You all would love it so much. I can't wait to hear from you guy in a few days. Love you guys. Hi to Owen if you're reading this as well. I miss you so much and can't wait to get the biggest hug from you when I see you soon. I love you. Hope you're having fun at home and with work. Makenna Keyek, C watch, University of New Hampshire