Monday, June 6, 2011

B Watch

B watch is currently on watch, having taken over the lab and deck from A watch at 0300. We're spread throughout the vessel, everyone doing their job and watching as the sun, not quite yet up, slowly lights the eastern horizon while the stars fade away. It's a quiet time as the rest of the ship's company sleeps. At the helm, Sverre steers the ship, powered only by sails and NE trade winds. Andrew  roams between the quarterdeck and the doghouse, checking the radar and chart and fulfilling his duties as junior watch officer (J-WO) this morning. Annie stands on bow watch, no doubt lost in thought about the beauty of the morning. Julia just headed off to perform a boat check, and Laura makes an appearance on deck, taking a brief break from the galley and her job as steward for the day to join in the sunrise appreciation. Good thing she left the personalized chef hat that her watchmates surprised her with when they woke her up below decks.  We would hate to see such a unique thing get blown overboard! After all, it's not every hat that comes with a homemade medallion featuring a chef cat declaring, "Only you can prevent a galley cat-tastrophe." Sarah, Aaron, and Josh have also come up on deck from below where they, as the dawn lab-watch team, have been hard at work on their science projects. Josh, this morning's junior lab officer (J-LO), has been ensuring that all lab work still gets done despite the project focus. Austin  and myself, rendered nearly obsolete by the junior watch officers, just finished a morning "star frenzy,"shooting the stars with a sextant in order to determine our location. Everything besides the motion of the ship seems to pause as we wait for the sun to appear above the horizon.

Time: 1905
A posterboard recently appeared in the aft starboard head reminding us to appreciate the small moments. People have added things like, "Discovering your bunk fan has a 'high-speed' setting," and, "Using a head right after it's been cleaned." Sunsets, always looked forward to with anticipation, has also been added to the list. Once again, life pauses for a moment as we gather to watch tonight's colorful sky. As opposed to sunrise, the majority of the ship's company spreads out along the port rail gazing at the horizon and hoping to see the notorious green flash that sometimes comes with sunsets at sea. You know you're living in a differently paced world when your whole community gathers for a moment like this. B watch just started the evening watch and Sarah and Julia, the junior deck and lab officers respectively, confer over what needs to get accomplished in the next 4 hours. Laura, basking in the completion of a delicious day of cooking roasted chicken and potatoes, pauses with musical triangle in hand, before ringing up the second dinner seating. She joins the sunset patrol, while Andrew contemplates the dishes and galley clean-up that await. Aaron is at the helm, and Josh, Annie, Austin and myself join in the sunset-watching moment. A hush falls and the sun slowly dips below the horizon. Sadly no green flash tonight, but there's always tomorrow.

Till then,
-Laura Nelson  (Asst. Scientist) and Austin Becker (3rd Mate)   

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