Ship Lessons and A Day in the Life

Author: Abby, C Watch, Boston University

March 14, 2022

Swimming Hole at Palmyra (photo courtesy of Ben, my birthday twin!). There was a climbing rope hanging in the water from a palm tree, and I was the first one to go up and touch the tree from my group!

Ship's Log

Noon position
11* 37'N x156*57'W

Ships heading

Ship speed
4 kts

Ship Log
2152 nm

Sail Plan
Sailing under the main, main stays'il, jib and jib tops'il

5? ish days away from Hawaii, still in the middle of the ocean, blue all around!

Souls on Board

Whew, what an amazing experience this has been (and still is!). Everyday is an opportunity to learn something new about the boat, the stars, and each other. Audrey mentioned to us that we only have one more Monday left, and it seems bittersweet. On one hand, everything on this boat smells weird (and for some reason ‘ve gotten seasick more than anyone else??? Thanks Dad, but I guess your seagoing genetics must have missed me), but on the other hand, spending every day with such amazing people in such a beautiful place is an experience like no other. Eating meals with everyone, chats with the professional crew, and learning about parts of the boat is absolutely fascinating, and I think we all feel like we are going to come out of this experience changed for the better.

For this blog post, I am going to take you all through a day in the life of a seafaring student. The schedule changes every day with our rotating watches, but this was my day today (and the schedule repeats every three days).

Abby. Abby. Abby *Groan* Good morning Abby, this is your wake up, you have breakfast in 20 minutes and then watch after. The weather is squally, so bring your foulies. Are you awake??

That’s how my wakeups usually go, with no alarms allowed on the ship we have scheduled wake-ups before our watches. It was weird to get used to, but now its fun to see the different styles of wakeups that my friends do.

Breakfast! After I have ~somewhat~ woken up, hiked up the heel to the bathroom and gotten ready for the day, we meet with our watch and eat breakfast in the main salon.

Watch officially begins, but you have to be there 10 minutes early to do a deck walk and begin turnover. Now I see why our professors on land started class 5 minutes early (and I see why my dad is always early), because if you are on time for 0700 watch you are late.

During morning watch, we do so many things its hard to remember it all. First was chores, every day the ship gets cleaned (although I think it just perpetually smells weird at this point), and the morning watch for that day does the cleaning! After chores, it was my day in engineering! I learned so much, and was able to teach Henry (Chief Engineer) how to sail, so it was a mutual exchange of knowledge. I learned how engines work, how turbines work, and how the different systems on the ship work together to make it a home. The engine room is super cool now that I know what the heck is going on in there (Eli, ‘m going to take some pics for you).

Lunch! Stir fry, roasted vegetables and tofu--absolutely delicious (Shoutout Cat and Gracie!)

Before class, Gabby, Jennessa, Mary and I went out on the headrig. We talked and laughed and had a good time watching the boobies try to catch flying fish. We noticed it was kinda a funny substitute for watching sports, Mary was rooting for the fish, and Gabby, Jennessa and I were rooting for the boobie. Get em, get em, get em! Ooooh so close!!
We also had a good time bouncing around out there with the swells, and we got pretty close to being dunked a few times!

Class time! Eban and I presented our creature feature, which was Krill! Did you know they can live up to 10 years? And sometimes, when they swarm, there can be 60,000+ individuals in one cubic meter. Pretty cool. We also learned from Leen and Murph about Hyperiid Arthropods, which are creepy little guys that eat the insides of salps and then use their bodies as a home. Pretty cool to be learning and in class with 360* ocean all around you!

After class, and before dinner, I spent laying on the lab top snuggled into some sail bags reading a book, looking out at the gradual progression of the setting sun. I know ‘m going to miss sunsets and sunrises here, and I wish I could paint better so that I could capture the beauty. There is just something indescribable about watching the sunset over the horizon, and how you can watch the sky change color through the clouds. It’s all around you too, there ar no trees to break the view, its just beautiful 360*. ‘m definitely going to miss that.

Din din! Breakfast for dinner! Which was absolutely delicious. C Watch had the first dinner seating, because we will have Dawn Watch next, so they want us to be able to get at least some sleep. Dinner was fun, we were all trying to figure out today’s Wordle that Corinna has been posting in the main salon.

SLEEP! As much as you can before that sweet sweet wake up at 0030 for Dawn Watch.

This whole experience has been amazing, and I am so grateful for the support that ‘ve found here and that I have felt from home. We are all having a great time, finding fun ways to interact with eachother and make the most out of the short time that we have here.

We’ve all started thinking about home-who we are going to see, hug, call, and talk to when we’re back, but the most fun to talk about is the different foods we’ve been craving. Not even kidding, I have been having dreams about ice cream. Last night, I dreamt that I went to Friendly’s and Lauren was working there, and gave me a soft serve chocolate/vanilla swirl with rainbow sprinkles. Ohhh it was such a great dream. Apparently I am not unique in these ice-cream dreams- both Gabby and Jennessa said they’ve been having them too.

Overall, this has been an amazing experience. I am happy and grateful to have had the courage and support to do this, and I know that I am forever changed for the better. Also to all the other parents reading this, I know that everyone here feels similarily. Here’s to the last week-ish that we have!!

Ps. Mom and Dad, I miss you both so much and can’t wait to hug you. Also please squish the cats for me, I miss them so much too. Give Skipper a big hug and an extra long walk to the beach too. Eli and Pheebs, I hope you both are having a great time back at school, and I can’t wait to send you guys pics of the cool engineering stuff here. Becca and Claire, ‘ve been thinking about how when I get back, I am going to have you both come up to BU for a night or two, I can’t believe I haven’t done that yet! Also pps. Can you send this blog post site to Amy? Now I am assuming that you did, and Amy, if you’re reading this, I love love love you so much and I can’t wait to tell you all about this experience when I am back. Hang in there love, I can’t wait to hear about what you’ve been up to! I am so grateful for you and your wisdom, it’s been playing through my head during some tough days. And ‘ve learned a bunch of the zodiac constellations (I can find Taurus everytime now ? )

Love you all,
Abby, C Watch, Boston University

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