As we have departed Bermuda, we’ve welcomed aboard several new shipmates. B Watch has been lucky enough to gain two new members, Mary Ellen and Steve. We have also been joined by our final faculty member from Woods Hole, Porter. This means we’ve resumed policy lectures, which are done with each morning watch. B Watch had the first discussion this morning on the quarterdeck, talking about a treaty being negotiated in the UN in relation to the High Seas. As well as this new addition to morning watch, we’ve entered another new routine today: the Junior Watch Officer (JWO) phase. JWO is an interesting challenge for all of us (though I’m sure it’s more so for our new watch members), as the students and interns have to take control of the happenings on deck and in the lab. As our watch officers put it, they are now essentially “highly competent but completely unmotivated lab/deck hands.” While they will intervene if anything unsafe is happening, the student assigned to be JWO for that watch is in charge of everything going on: sail handling, rotations, science deployments, and everything else. As well as ensuring that the to-do list for watch is completed, the JWO also has to write that list.
Maria, one of B Watch’s interns, was our first JWO today and she set a high bar for the rest of us. She and our officers reminded us afterwards of our best resource as JWOs: each other. While one person might not have done a particular task, someone else probably has. The watch officers will not be offering advice and instruction on watch, and so we need to use each other as support. The next few weeks will be sure to be a good exercise in teamwork and leadership as we bring the ship into New York and continue doing science along the way.
Hi to my family and friends (and cat); I won’t name anyone because I’d probably leave many people out.
- Cecilia Howard, B Watch, Johns Hopkins University