No Stamps Needed

April 11, 2024

Author: Elaina Berdyck, B Watch, Northeastern University

3April Albatrosssmall

Solemn Albatross, Credit: Aronah Swartz

Ship's Log

9 April 2024

Noon Position (Lat and Long): 41°09.4’S x 161°28.5’W
Ship Heading (degrees): 025
Ship Speed (knots): 6
Taffrail Log (nm): 1289 nm
Weather / Wind / Sail Plan (from 1300 Watch Change): Sailing on a close haul
under the 4 lowers & the JT
Description of location: Southern South Pacific Gyre

There are so many wonderful happenings aboard the Robert C. Seamans.

Today is the day of the watch officer rotation, which means that the Mate
and Marine Technician that have been working with each watch since we joined
the ship will switch to work with a new watch. It’s great that we get to
work with all of the crew, but its bittersweet to say goodbye to Meg and
Matt (even though we will only ever be 134 feet away from each other). For
that rotation to go smoothly, Captain Allison and Sarah stand afternoon
watch. Luckily for me, B Watch had the honor of standing with them this
afternoon. It’s so fun to get to learn from them outside of class. Welcome
to Phase 2!

Last night, I got to do my first deployment! Charlie and I helped Matt,
Sarah and Captain Allison safely deploy and retrieve the meter net. The
meter net is, you guessed it, one meter in diameter and it gets sent behind
the ship on 300 meters of wire, then pulled back up, bringing all kinds of
fun stuff with it. Last night we pulled up a few heteropods, lots of salps,
and a couple of myctophids. Sifting through ocean gunk at 2300 is always a

One of my favorite new additions to our shipboard community is the RCS
Postal Service (domestic service only). Orchestrated by Izzy (the
postmaster), we can send letters to our shipmates via the mailbox in the
salon (bunkside delivery in 2-3 business days). It has been so heartwarming
to both give and receive small tokens of gratitude.

All of these fun moments have also come with their fair share of tough ones.
Performing DNA extractions amidst 14 foot swells is highly tedious and
standing lookout during those same swells feels a little scary. I have yet
to master the art of Bunk Sleep and my legs are so bruised from constantly
running into things. Sometimes you plot four hours’ worth of positions only
to realize that you forgot to account for deviation and variation.

Amidst those struggles and joys, I’m so thankful for how supportive this
community is. There’s always someone to lift you up, make you laugh, and
sing silly songs with. What a joy it is to work with such talented crew, do
science at odd hours, and find love notes on your pillow after watch.

Notes Home:

Happy 17th birthday Emmy! Hopefully you’re reading this on your actual
birthday. I miss you so much and I wish I could hug you so tight today. It’s
so hard to believe that you’re 17. I’ll have so many fun stories to tell you
when I get back, but until then, I love you (x 17) <3 <3

Murph says hi to her parents!

Good luck to Murph’s friend Paige in running her first marathon!

Elaina Berdyck, B Watch, Northeastern University

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  1. Bill Cass April 12, 2024 at 21:09 - Reply

    Elaina -thanks for relaying Katie’s (I mean Murph’s) message to us. Tell her all of us miss her very much, including Cassie the dog! Enjoy the rest of your voyage and may the wind be at your back!

  2. Julie Gaetano April 29, 2024 at 01:45 - Reply

    Hi Elaina! I love you and miss you and hope you’re having fun!!

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