Hello from the Robert C Seamans class 280. My name is Nat; I am an incoming sophomore at University of San Diego, originally from Oahu.
Today was day two of our four day voyage between Rangiroa and Caroline Island. My day started with a breakfast of sausage, plantain pancakes, rice, and fried eggs. Then I stood watch with my watch team at 0700. For this watch, I was stationed in the lab, where we had four deployments and two surface samples. The deployments consisted of: the free CTD to 1200m, the secchi disk to 42m, a neuston net tow, and a phyto net tow. The two water samples were surface water samples for pH, nutrients, chlorophyll-a and plastic levels. This watch passed really fast because we were so busy, but I was a little sad that we did not have time to analyze the data that we collected. We were only able to conduct the pH test before A watch took over at 1300.
C watch hauling in the mainsheet (it was very hard!).
After a quick lunch of bean, cheese, and beef quesadillas we had a whole boat muster on the quarter deck for class. In today's we held a debrief of our reef surveys on Rangiroa, which consisted of a discussion about our observations and also some helpful tips from each of the three survey teams because we will be rotating jobs for the next survey at Caroline island. The second part of our class was devoted to nautical science. We learned about the proper method of using a sextant, and also the basic mathematical and astronomical ideas behind getting bearings through celestial bodies. Class finished at 1600 and I had downtime until dinner which was at 1900. I decided to take a nap in my bunk and work on making a turks head knot bracelet. Naps throughout the day are crucial to staying healthy and alert onboard, especially since tonight I have watch from 2300 to 0300. All in all today was a pretty busy day, but every moment of it was spent learning something new.
Beyond just my day to day schedule, I also think it is really important to convey some of my challenges and surprises that I have encountered. My biggest challenge is trying to balance sleep, watch, and school work. Even though sometimes one of the three gets pushed to the side, I feel that in general I get a healthy dose of each. My biggest surprise was how much I learn every day. From the moment I get up to the moment I go to sleep there is always something new to learn. All this knew knowledge can be tiring, but it is also extremely rewarding and I feel like I have not only learned new things, but developed a stronger passion for learning.
Finally, if my family or friends are reading this post, I love you guys and hope that your month is going as awesome as mine. Thanks for all the support and I can't wait to see you guys.
Nathaniel Yee, University of San Diego