CTD Watch-standers Log: GO-SHIP I05 Week 2

Sampling and life at sea in rougher weather

Us: “Deck, lab. Ready to power on the Log.”

“Lab, Deck. You may power on the Log.”

Us: “Lab, copy.”

On our 11th day aboard the R/V Roger Revelle we started our first day of what will be a full month at sea… so happy August. We, the CTD watch-standers, have gotten more and more comfortable with life at sea and our various responsibilities even in … unfavorable weather. As we are amidst some rougher weather at the moment, I thought we could share a bit about ship life when then skies aren’t so clear.

Our main concern is generally the waves. One minute you are sitting in the mess hall, eating some of the delicious food the chefs have lovingly prepped for us and then next you are on the floor and your pita bread is no longer in your hand. Walking can also be very challenging, sometimes you find yourself essentially walking on the walls in the halls. So, I guess we are getting the spiderman experience. It is a very strange feeling when you are walking up stairs and the swell either throws you up them or sucks you down onto them. We haven’t yet mastered the art of when to open and close the doors with the swell but in the meantime our arm muscles continue to grow. Sleep can also become a challenge, particularly when you are on the top bunk and feeling of floating becomes normal.

One of our CTD watch-standers got some direct experience with waves, when he was waiting outside the hanger for his turn to sample, a wave crashed over the ship and he got a full body hit. Luckily, he was wearing his foul weather gear and he thought it was pretty cool. Speaking of sampling, that is another ship routine that becomes a bit harder when the weather is not co-operating. All of us huddle around the CTD and try to collect samples amidst the rolling swell and the howling wind. Thankfully there are some boards that are put up to stop the waves from crashing into the hanger (see photo below).

The wooden boards behind the CTD stop waves from coming in during sampling. Photo by Kirstin Petzer.
The wooden boards behind the CTD stop waves from coming in during sampling. Photo by Kirstin Petzer

While life at sea can be a bit overwhelming, it is still really enjoyable and playing music while being drenched and collecting samples is an unforgettable memory.

If you want to know more about our life at sea, please join us next week for the CTD watch-standers Log Week 3.

Us: “Deck, lab. The Log power is off.”

~Kirstin Petzer