Friday, July 23, 2010

Greetings from the graveyard shift on the way to the Rise

Greetings and salutations from beyond the Date Line. Yeah that's right. We crossed the IDL. But unlike New Year's Eve there was no ball drop. We did get some sweet certificates though. Crossing the IDL is not a daily thing, however, and that is what I am here to cover.

Daily life here is not quite what I expected, although now that I'm here, I'm not sure what it is that I expected. We're on a 24hour boat. We don't take weekends or holidays. Therefore everyday at sea is like a Monday. Or a Friday. Just take a day. It'll do. My hats off to the guys that run this ship. It runs like clockwork and they do everything they can to keep us comfortable while we work. Big thank you to them. I digress, however. It is relatively simple to adjust to the daily routine that is sea life. What is not as easy to adjust to is the changes you make from your daily routine on land. For me, I would wake up to my phone alarm (which I still do regardless of latitude or longitude) and check my email and the weather. On land. At sea? Scratch the last two things. Also I've learned that roommates on land don't care quite as much about noise. Loud noises during the day in the sleeping areas on a 24 hour boat are a no-no. If you want to be "that guy" on the boat, make loud noise in the sleeping areas at all hours of the day. Also, the times for meals... make sure to make those or you will be eating leftovers... not that those are bad, on the contrary they are quite tasty... Anyway 1) wake up, 2) shower... oh and by the way, stability is something I totally took for granted on land. Basically to do anything you need to have your feet spread about shoulder width apart and orthogonal to the wave action. Otherwise you will end up face down on the floor. No it hasn't happened to me... yet. 3) eat lunch (no I'm not sleeping in, I'm on the night shift), 4) migrate to the science lab and watch way too many monitors at once. 5) monitor monitors for 4 hours 6) enjoy a few hours of leisure time plus dinner, 7) grab a quick nap, 8) midnight to 4am, 9) bed, 10) repeat. While on duty, though, or even off duty you may be called to help the crew with some of their tasks. For example, today I got to help setup the XBT launcher. I was also the "anchor" for the end of some streamer cable i.e. I was tension in the line so it didn't unravel. All things necessary for the advancement of science. I will definitely give an improved update of daily life once we begin shooting the seismic data. I'm sure there will be far more things to pique the readers curiosity. Goodnight and godspeed.

1 comment:

  1. Always wondered what it was like to be there 24/7 with only water in view. Thank you for this post.