Smooth sailing into station 2 for the Atlantis! We have seen some of the calmest seas of the trip, and calm waters means better testing grounds for the scientists. An added bonus, the particle team tells me that we were breathing in the cleanest air they have EVER seen. So, if you want to fill up your lungs, with the good stuff, come on out to the North-Atlantic. I'm surprised the Hollywood Guru's haven't picked up on this one yet.
Ok, so I have been avoiding this topic because, frankly, if you acknowledge the nausea it gets worse! However, this is the number one question I have received and the number one fear of some onboard. As a first time cruiser, I am among the handful that has been blessed with a surefire way to lose some weight--seasickness. Though, I do not recommend this route.
Let’s face it, for 26 days, we will be tossed around like ping-pong balls at the hands of two rookie players. November, in the North-Atlantic sea, isn’t exactly smooth sailing.
Good thing we came prepared. Before we left the docks I applied one of the recommended motion-sickness patches. I am sure they work wonders, for your typical user, but your average person isn’t exposing themselves to 15-20 foot waves for a month. Here is where several of us hit a learning curve face-first. My first clue was when someone mentioned, in passing, that the “patch is no picnic.”
Then came the dry mouth, the blurry vision, and the wild dreams. At that point, I was thinking it was a trade-off. I was avoiding a full-blown case of SS but I really didn’t want to eat. Which is a shame, because the food onboard is EXCELLENT! I know right! I was surprised by that too.
I think the patch did do its job, but by day four when people started opening up, I heard recollections of the hallucinations that set in if you wear it for too long. For some reason, people often “see” furry animals?! Though it would be nice to have some four-legged friends onboard, I prefer they have actual heart beats. This conversation was followed by a mad dash to the bathroom where the remainder of us took those patches OFF.
Though it will impact everyone in a different way, you just have to accept that you probably won’t feel 100 percent. So, why do they do it? Well, there is passion that fuels every scientist onboard. I mean, come on, they are discovering awesome ocean stuff. As for me, I like a good challenge. If I can master the showering at sea thing I will consider the trip well worth it.
Word of advice, stick to ginger chews and avoid computer work at all costs.
Good thing I started this blog, eh? =)
Good Morning! We made it to station one early this morning. I try to post at night, around 8pm, when the internet is not as slow. However, I will post pictures here, throughout the day, so you can see some of what is going on. Enjoy!
Hello Everyone! So, we have finally made it to the eve of station one. The first stop will bring us to an eddy hundreds of miles off of Newfoundland. Overnight, and much of the day, brought us some intense waves and wind. I think it is safe to say that everyone is hoping for calmer seas tomorrow but the outlook for that is not good. The weather will dictate what kinds of testing will be done. The plan is to be on deck tomorrow around 4AM to start setting up for the day.
We began Wednesday with some sea snow! Check out the link below for a look:
Wave Height: About 16ft.
Though perspective is hard to convey in a picture the post below gives you an idea of how high the waves are right now. My eye level is at the bottom.
I wrote about this experience last night and I want to share the video. Hopefully you can play it! I'm not sure how uploads here translate to land but the green line in the sky is the C-130 flying over us and saying "hello." The aircraft will meet up with the ship at the first stop. If all goes as planned, we will reach our first destination tomorrow evening.
The Atlantis ran on coffee and ginger today. I have to admit, sleeping below water is peaceful. The light rocking and the gurgle of the water as it hits the side of the ship are nice. Last night, however, the ocean gods were bowling and we were the pins. I can’t tell you the exact height of the waves but I imagine there were swells close to twenty feet.
We were lucky the first two days. Today, as dinner plates flew off tables, walking sideways was a sought after skill and opening doors became a Herculean event. I am reminded that this is November in the North-Atlantic.
The deck has been closed for two days. Peter Gaube, one of the scientists onboard, captured this great video illustrating why.
Link to Video:
Day 4 also saw another successful launch of the weather balloon. Ever wonder how long the balloon lasts before it succumbs to a reduction in surrounding pressure? Well, I am told anywhere from one to two hours. That’s enough time for the researchers to gather important information like wind speed, temperature and humidity. All of these conditions will factor into the work they are doing onboard (more on that later).
No matter how big the waves, it seems there is an awesome nightcap to the days at sea. Sometimes it is the sunset, tonight it was walking to the front deck, in the pitch black, surrounded by stars. The C-130, that will meet up with the ship at the first stop, flew overhead. On the underbelly, a green laser that looked like a giant glow stick in the sky. This is a moment that was not on my bucket list but it should have been. Falling asleep tonight with gratitude for being a part of, in some small way, this awesome adventure
A reflection on day two has left me in awe of the work that is done here. A moving lab presents challenges that science on land often escapes. The first of many--how does one secure sensitive equipment? The Atlantis does not allow drilling into tables so a network of bungee cords creates some stabilization.
"If it works the first time, you are either the luckiest person alive or you are not doing it right," said Elizabeth Harvey. Harvey is one of 32 scientists who spent the day testing their equipment ahead of the first testing location (about four days out). Waves, wind, temperature a multitude of factors change the approach. What strikes me the most is how adaptable the entire crew is. You have to be.
We woke up bright and early Friday morning to watch land disappear. How many times does someone get to say that in their lifetime? Well, if you are a scientist at sea you probably get that thrill often. For a journalist who, until yesterday, didn't even know this opportunity existed, it was thrilling.
Safety first! First time cruisers test out their survival suits and learn how to abandon ship.