Today is Local Apparent Christmaka! A watch had dawn watch this morning, and night watch tonight, so it was extremely temping to sleep through the whole day, but I'm so glad I didn't. I am so grateful for the group that we have on this ship and the effort they put into arranging this holiday with very limited resources after the decision to have a Christmas in July was suggested only a few days ago. Everyone has been spending hours on crafting their secret sailor gifts, and several people have started to learn woodcarving from Henry, our chief engineer!
We exchanged gifts during what would be class time today, and then sampled all of the cookies and pies that we baked before singing all the holiday songs we could think of while Kelsey played the fiddle alongside us. This event has been a huge mood booster at a time when a lot of us have been feeling stressed. The scientists have been up for days working on processing nutrient samples, and the students are trying to prepare for JWO (Junior Watch and Lab Officer) phase, which I am still terrified of. But today everyone is celebrating together, and no matter where you go on the ship the air is filled with laughter and song.
Yesterday was also incredible. I have been feeling very worn down recently, but the weather picked up yesterday and the sun came out in time for our styrocast! Everyone's shrunken cups look adorable, and Kelly and I spent some good quality time with our Chief scientist Kelsey while we spent most of our watch sending the wire down 3050 meters! Yesterday was also field day, so during class time we deep cleaned the entire ship. A watch cleans the galley, so while two of us dove into the corners of the galley the other four of us were scrubbing dishes on the foredeck and jamming to some music.
At the end of field day we gathered on the quarter deck, where Ava (1st mate), announced that we would be taking a salt water shower with the firehose! Caleb held the hose on the lab-top and we all ran through like a huge sprinkler, opening the bottom vent to lessen the pressure. It was so cold!! Several of us finished with an on deck fresh water shower, and it was so much fun. These past two days have been refreshing and rejuvenating as we begin the third phase of our journey and start to head home.
-Alexia Wagner, Roger Williams University/A Watch
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