What’s your scale today?

July 1, 2024

Author: Papang Ruckpanich, C Watch, NYU

3_RCSBlog_PapangRuckpanich_24June2024 (1)

Papang and Brooke on deck!

Ship's Log

Monday, 24 June 2024

Position at Sunset: 19'12.1'S, 153'32.3'W

Ship Heading: 230 Degrees Ship
Speed (knots): 7.5

Log (nm): 298.4

Weather / Wind: Great wind, partly cloudy (we set sails today!)

Description of location: On the way from Papeete to Rarotonga

On the ship there is a tradition in which we come up with a scale to rate
our feelings.

My scale today is the moon, as I am watching it right now while writing this
blog on the deck. One side of the scale is the full moon - when it shines at
its brightest. The other side is the moonless nights, the darkest nights of

Today a lot of things happened.

We set on a full sail for the first time! For the past three days we had
been using the engine to speed up our ship. However, great wind today
allowed the Seamans to freely glide with grace. We are moving at speed of 7
knots, which saves many gallons of diesel per hour. It's crazy to think

Science wise, the team did a neuston tow to collect some plankton samples.
They also dropped the hydrocast to test the water column in different depths
(0-800 m). The data collected, such as pH level, chlorophyll-A and nutrients
will help us to plot the bigger-picture trend of the ocean in this area.

Little by little, I started to get used to the ship life. Sailing in the
vast ocean is no different than wandering off into an endless desert. In
this small community, each life depends upon one another. A small simple
effort such as checking the engine or cleaning dishes could mean a lot to
the community. At SEA, I have learned to be disciplined, self-sufficient and
vigilant. There is not so much room for laziness and inattentiveness or
wandering around. Anything can happen at any time, and we want to be ready
for it. I hope this is a habit that I continue when I am back on land.


As twilight approached, students gathered around the deck to witness the
beautiful sunset - the critical changing moment between day and night. A lot
of us here are in a transformative period, changing from land-life to
sea-life. It can be tough at times, but I feel grateful for life every
single time I look out to the vast ocean and realize "Hey I am sailing in
the South Pacific!"

Thank you, mum, dad, Pengyu and all my family members for believing and
trusting me enough to let me set sail toward where my heart desires. Here is
a photo of me and my new friend, Brooke, smiling back to you!

Opposite of tonight's round shinning moon, I am feeling the dark moonless
night on my scale. I am lost and still unable to get my head around new
sailing terminologies and science gears. I would be hopelessly disoriented
in the ocean if I were the only one on this ship.

There are so much more to learn ahead, but that's also the beauty of the
dark night.

Because it's when stars shine the brightest.

Sending wind love,
Papang Ruckpanich, C Watch, NYU

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