Rockin’ and Rollin’

Bella Kassa, B-Watch, University of Michigan

April 21, 2022

Blog photo 4-21-22small

Bella and Kelly working on leptocephali identification

Ship's Log

Noon Position
29° 44.48’ N x 069° 36.82’ W

Ship Heading
180°

Ship Speed
4.1 kts

Taffrail Log
888.5

Weather / Wind / Sail Plan
Cloudy with a slight humidity, winds NE Force 5, sailing under the storm trys’l and mainstays’l

Description of location
Around 200 nautical miles west of Bermuda in the Sargasso Sea

Souls on Board

Hi people! After a few days of stormy and windy conditions rumor has it that it’s due to slow down pretty soon. This cold front has created some pretty gnarly swells, which aren’t great for sleeping, but a lot of fun to watch!

After being in the galley doing dishes for my afternoon watch today, I can confirm that the swells also make it a little difficult to keep everything on the drying rack in one piece. That being said, I’ll be a little bummed when we get back to the quieter seas. It feels like an amusement park ride when the waves are rolling us this much!

Tops’l up for the first time this trip!

One of the reasons I was so excited to head out into the middle of the Atlantic was all the stargazing! Unfortunately, we’ve been blessed with a very bright moon the first stretch of this trip and I hadn’t seen any until last night. It was definitely worth the wait! My shipmates and I had fun taking it all in on evening watch before the moon came up and spoiled all the fun.

My favorite thing about being at sea is all of the science we do. I’m part of the group that is studying leptocephali and I had the chance in lab this week to identify the different species of glass eels that we had caught in our deployments by looking under a microscope and examining their unique features. I felt like a real scientist! The Sargasso Sea is a well-known breeding location for the elusive eel, and I’m honored to get to study these incredible critters in their home environment.

In other news, I’m sad to report I spoke too soon on the seasickness. Though it’s passed now, I felt pretty crummy the days following my blog post. I honestly think I might have jinxed myself, but I did get a lot of sleep because the medicine made me so tired!

This trip has also allowed me to become a reading machine! Our watch schedule is 6 hours on and 12 off which doesn’t always leave much time for anything other than sleeping and eating. I’ve tried to take advantage of my rare free time and get through as many of the ship’s library books as possible. I’m on my 6th book in the 2ish weeks we’ve been here and I’m not planning to slow down anytime soon. (P.S. Anna you have to read “Circe” ASAP, not joking.)

I also want to wish Ben a very happy 22nd birthday! Sending all my love and hugs! I miss you more than you know and I hope today was wonderful! I can’t wait to celebrate together when I get back. I love you!

Another belated happy birthday to my lovely roommate, Lily! I hope you’re holding down The Box in my absence. I miss you and I hope you had a great day!

To all my family and friends, I miss you very much. Counting down the days until I can squeeze you all again! (Hope to see you on the dock? Haha)

- Bella Kassa, B-Watch, University of Michigan

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2 Comments

  1. Molly April 22, 2022 at 14:37 - Reply

    Please give Maeve a big ol hug for me. Seasickness is no joke, I hope its not sucking up all the fun. I miss her like crazy and cant wait to hear her favorite parts.

  2. Erin Dietrich April 25, 2022 at 20:51 - Reply

    Aw! It was so unexpected and nice to see the blog post from you! I wasn’t sure how many times you would get to write. I have been missing you so much and this helped me feel some connection! Sorry to hear about the seasickness! We love you and can’t wait to hear about everything when you return!!!

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