Today is the first day that we have a peaceful sea! Woken up by our B-watch friends, we came on deck around 0050. It was cool out on the deck. Mild sea breeze gently blew our last bit of sleepiness away. The wave has largely decreased, too. We can almost stand by ourselves without holding onto anything else. The stars covered the whole sky across the horizon. This morning, I worked on deck. Crew members told me I am the first one on this ship who steered in a clear night, which means I don’t have to stare at the compass all the time. Instead, I would be able to use the stars as our navigation direction indicators. But to be honest, it’s kind of hard to just use the stars, so for the 36 people that are on this ship, I still kept an eye on the compass.
Mostly, the weather is nice. We only got a little bit of rain during our turnover at 0700, like a 3-minute rain. We stayed on deck for a while after our watch because the weather is so nice! Some of us were sitting on the raised roof above deck, journaling (check the photos!). We also have snacks on the deck. During the morning watch, A-watch deployed our first hydrocast (check the photos!).
After some nap and lunch, we had our first official class. We learned how to deploy a neuston net (check the photos!) and we deployed our own during our evening watch tonight. We saw a lot of bioluminescence as we sprayed on the nets. The net basically twinkled as the water hit it. We also did a surface station while the net was in the water. For surface station, we basically drop a bucket in the sea and got some surface level water from it. After that, we ran a pH test of the water sample and looked at some cool pteropods under the microscope.
Overall, today is a nice day. The sky is clear and the waves have eased out. We all slowly recovered from our seasickness. I think we almost scored a no-puking day. I feel like it would get even better as our body slowly accustomed to the ship and I am looking forward to do more deployments as the weather suits.
I used to think the day that we have both dawn watch (0100-0700) and evening watch (1900-0100) would be a really tiring day. However, I found myself actually loving today’s schedule. We had a wonderful night enjoying all the stars. We went off watch right after the sunrise. And we could take a shower and dry ourselves in the morning breeze. Take some naps and snacks; come up on deck for the sunset and another round of adventure.
- Carol (Xinrong) Guo, C watch, Colby College