SEA Currents: Robert C. Seamans
Phase 2: Time to Pick Up the Pace
Lau Basin, Approaching Lau Island Group
Ship’s Heading & Speed
269 degrees true, 4.7 knots
Quite a windy and rocky day with an average of force 5 winds coming from ESE and 5 ft. seas coming from ESE as well. It is mostly cloudy with low cumulous clouds in the sky.
We are now underway and a little less than two days away from docking in Fiji. This means that all of us students are working hard to really understand all of our responsibilities and know our skills for being on deck and in the lab. I am still struggling with boxing the compass, or knowing all of the different names for the 32 points of direction on a compass, but practicing during watch helps. We have our lab practical tomorrow as well, to see if we understand all of the procedures and protocols for lab deployments/safety. The ship is in full swing, literally and with all of us being so busy!
Today was field day, and with the rocky swells that we've been having, it was no surprise that some salt water splashed our galley dishes while we were trying to clean them with freshwater. Oh well, nothing wrong with a little salt to taste, right? Anyway, I have been learning a lot in the past few watches in lab, which is super exciting. Sea sickness has been a real struggle so far, but now that it has subsided a bit, I am able to fully participate in lab activities, like filtering chlorophyll A and processing Neuston tows. We're still finding a lot of copepods- so many copepods.
Copepods are microscopic organisms that live on the surface of the ocean, and get caught in our Neuston net. There are over 1,000 species of them, so copepods in a 1 mL sample of biomass can look completely different from each other. Most of the time they look like little blue ocean bugs that are napping hard in a curled up position. They're pretty neat to look at if you don't get dizzy looking through a microscope on a moving ship!
We have also switched our watch officers and scientists for our watches, which is exciting. I now have Tristan and B-Mauer, who are both awesome! I'm learning so much about lab and deck that I wasn't able to learn while I was seasick, so this is pretty much a fresh start for me. I'm happy to say some of the spaghetti is sticking to the wall, as Captain Jay would say it. I'm getting a hand on some of the procedures and skills that are helpful to know in order to be productive and help the ship run smoothly. Shout-out to everyone who has been helping me retain information and learn new things to get me up to speed! I hope everything is well back home and I hope to send you all further updates soon. Much love to all of you reading this!