It has been one full week living on this ship. The first few days were all about getting adjusted to our new work, sleep, and food schedule. However, for some of us it was mostly about getting used to the constant back and forth, side to side, up and down motion, the narrow hallways, steep steps, and the smell of diesel and exhaust. Yup, it’s called sea sickness and it’s got power! Ginger pills, Dramamine, ear patches, crackers and hydration provide minimal help when nothing can stay in your stomach. Time is the cure. Bern keeps telling us, “It takes a few days to get your sea legs.” Conveniently, it seems everybody has their sea legs just in time for the deployment of the streamer. It was a success and now the real science is being conducted and everybody is excited and alert.
The work is very interesting and can get dirty when we have to go outside. I love seeing 36 working computers in the main lab in which each of them serve an important purpose. Every day, we (watch standers) hope none of them flash RED alerts because that means we have a problem that we need to fix immediately. So far, we have learned how to report, log, and (to some extent) fix the minor problems. We let the pros teach us their expertise. However, today we brought in String 4 onboard so the crew could fix it, test it and deploy it again. It took a little over an hour. In my opinion, we haven’t had any serious problems yet (knock on wood) because the crew is efficient and they fix everything exceptionally fast.
Personally, I love living on a ship where I get fed three times a day by awesome cooks and I don’t even have to do the dishes. Sleeping is extremely easy because I feel it’s like being rocked like a baby in a cradle. Working in the lab can get boring, but that is good because it means everything is working the way it should! As for entertainment, the theater has a ridiculous amount of movies and tv shows, the sunsets are beautiful, and the middle of the pacific ocean is a great place to get some serious reading done.
I have to mention that I really enjoy the company of our crew. Everyone seems friendly, considerate, positive, and very good at what they do. We will see how the next weeks progress because rumor has it that people get a little crazy or weird after being on a ship for an extended amount of time!