Hi all! Jack again, although my new given Shellback name is “Long Arm Sandy Octopus” (if I heard that correctly) however that’s a mouthful, so call me Jack.
WE CROSSED THE EQUATOR!!! “Yer off the edge of the map boy. Here there be monsters”. No, I did not shave my head at the equator like many of our company, I will, however, (sorry mom and dad) be getting a shellback tattoo at some point in the future. Today is rather long one for those of us on C Watch. The end or perhaps beginning of our “Local Apparent Week”/ watch cycle. We start our day with a 0030 wakeup for our Dawn watch. If we’re lucky we can get maybe 4 hours of sleep before the watch begins. I accidentally fell back asleep, but Beanz came and got me up. Thankfully no one made me walk the plank yet. It was a relatively chilly watch considering we had just barely crossed the equator, the place where the sun is at its strongest. However, we are technically in the North now… Those in lab geared up in sweaters and hats for their watch of sample processing, while those of us on deck went about our usual rotations. After Dawn watch and a quick breakfast, I immediately went to my bunk and tried to sleep for an hour or two before our Sheet Anchors were due and our Field Day (full boat cleaning) begins. That will be later followed by galley clean up and an evening watch … Like a said it has been/ will continue to be a long day. Field Day wasn’t nearly as bad as the last one - the boat was cleaner and I was the first to throw my phone in the ring to play music. We only listen to music during field day unless we can make our own. Some of us can play instruments but most of us lack such skills. I don’t know how many days we’ve been out here or how many we have left. My hands are rough, cut, calloused, and blistered. My hair is light, and my skin is dark. The crew can be smelled from the horizon, and the reefer (refrigerator) can be smelled from the deck. It’s disgusting, and I love every sweaty, exhausting, hot, muscle-aching, sun burning day, and each constellation, shooting star, red light, reduced vision, and squall-filled night. Hi mom dad and Grace, Miss you, see you soon! This is Long Arm Sandy Octopus signing off. And again, Keep a weather eye on the horizon. Jack Goodman, C Watch, University of Vermont