Sunday, May 15, 2011

C is for Charming

AHOOOOY!  This is Kevin Chow, on deck.  Today’ I’ll be writing a bit about what it’s like to be part of a crew – to work as a team, to forge new friendships, and to adapt to the culture of the ship – which, for me, has been the most challenging, yet rewarding aspect of the trip so far.

Onboard the Seamans, we use a three-watch system (A, B, and C) to divide the day and its duties into manageable parts.  I am a member of C Watch, which also includes Laura Nelson (Assistant Scientist), Austin Becker (3rd Mate), Sverre  LeRoy (TA), Lauren Kubiak, Ana Miller-ter Kuile , Haley Kingsland, Nick Mendoza, Calah Hanson, and Sabina Perkins.  Although we have only been a team for little more than a week, working and eating with these charming, calm, collected (and remarkably good-looking) individuals day in and day out has really brought us close together into a family/team/elite squadron.  

Members of C Watch stand ready for action

Adhering to the relentless schedule of the ship can certainly be a struggle. Time, on the Seamans, seems to melt away – it is harder and harder for me to separate when one day starts and another begins.  The mantra of SITUATIONAL AWARENESS dictates that we remain constantly vigilant of fire, men or women overboard, and Kraken attacks.  But, I have found that ship life is all about taking the bad with the good.  For instance, today for dawn watch we had to wake up at 0300 and scrub the heads and soles (toilets and floors) after breakfast, but oh my gosh just look at this morning’s sunrise!

I think one time I heard someone say something like “the price of enjoying the sublime is a voyage into the banal…”  I guess I agree with that.

When we gather with the entire class each afternoon, the culture of the ship’s company as a whole is on display.  We share stories, act, recite poems, laugh, reflect, dance, and feign cardiac arrest.   Afterwards, there are wonderfully prepared snacks to enjoy together before the rhythm of the ship resumes (the science must go on!).  There are lines to sweat, boat checks to perform, nets to cast, samples to process.  The ebb and flow of ship life, like the ocean itself, is alive with opportunities to learn from and to teach each other.

-K. Chow

Over and out.

Today, at 15:49 ZT, we also launched 10 messages in bottles from a location of 9° 19.8’ N x 161° 33.9’ W for a group of  students from Capt. Derek Esibill’s seventh and eighth grade classes in Kailua, Ohau.

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