The crew and team are hanging out at station 5 this morning. We are a bit rocky today so the science team will not be deploying a full list of equipment. I figure this is a good day to take a look at how things work out here. Let's start in the galley!
Passion--that little flame that you just can’t seem to put out. When you come across it, you know, there is no question. We will all feel it in our lifetimes, the lucky ones find a purpose in it and the truly blessed approach everything they do with an equal dose of this powerful energy.
There is no shortage of passion on this ship. When you think about it, to devote a month of your life to discovery, you have to love what you do. The crew can spend up to six months at sea. I asked the Captain if he misses home while he is “out here” and he told me, “ this is not here, it’s just not there.” Translation-this is his home.
I ran across a scientist today who was excited about….poop! Yeah, poop. Turns out it is pretty powerful stuff. Phytoplankton gives off oxygen, Zooplankton eats the Phytoplankton and poops. In turn, the waste material sucks CO2 out of the air before sinking. Someday, thousands of years from now, it might mean oil. Wow-right! Next time you swallow a big gulp of salt water think on that.
Though my fire is fueled by something a bit different from the scientists, I am amazed at the parallels between our crafts. They are here to discover the unknown; I am here for the untold story. In that, there is sacrifice. There are holidays without family, long hours and moments that test your resilience. Heck, test your level of passion.
The sacrifice is shared burden. I was reminded of this after posting pictures of the rough sea today. At some point, everyone here signed up for this. The support is owned by those that take this journey with us. The parents, partners and children that worry about our safety, while we embrace the good fortune of finding something we find a calling in.. So, thank you!
After looking at one of the scientists breathtaking photos today, I suggested that he consider a career change. Without hesitation he said, “not a chance,” and I thought--I know what you mean.
Photo Credit: Christian Leber
The walking thing is real! Not only can improving your ship gait save you from bruises, but it may just help with this seasickness stuff! So who better to ask than a scientist.
Let’s talk about adaptability, it is the essential ingredient needed to make work at sea possible. I don’t care if you grew up on the water, have been published all over the world or have the sexiest sea legs in town. If you can’t adapt--forget it. The sea is moody, smooth as glass one minute and churning like a Vitamix blender the next. Tools that work on land decide to take a vacation at sea, can ya' blame em’? Theories fall apart, tested ideas don’t play out as planned, and equipment WILL break. I have seen challenges arise that the best think tank in the world would have missed. All of this, after, you begin your day by adjusting your walk to the ever changing motion.
If I sound like I am complaining, let me clarify. I am amazed. From my few dances with science I found it to be exempt from the flaws of other crafts. Everything is always perfectly measured out, perfectly fit, perfectly…flawed. You don’t know what you will find out here. My own equipment has kept me from the journalism that I take comfort in. I know images and sound, without a properly functioning microphone, I have had to focus on this evolving blog. I have had to ask for help…gasp!
Last night, the aerosol team, found their lab infiltrated by salty waters from a stormy night. The main lab is kept at a chilly 50 degrees to keep the integrity of samples alive. Scientists work in full winter gear for sixteen hours a day.
The internet is SLOW-but a blessing to have. Imagine preparing your dinner tonight while riding a seesaw! The chef, onboard, does it everyday.
There is no place for frustration, it just prolongs the path to a solution. Everyday, every hour, is about adapting. The excitement on the other end, of a problem solved, is worth every minute.
Oh, and that rainbow!
Good Monday Morning!
The Atlantis is riding the waves at station three! I will be posting some videos from the ship this evening. Just wanted to check in, for those following our path, and let you know we are safe and sound.
Hey All! Here are some clips from the cutting room floor. Though they will not make it into any stories, I thought you might enjoy seeing some of your loved ones in action.
This link gives you an idea of how high the waves were Wednesday:
I love surprises, they give us the opportunity to dive into the unknown with unquenchable curiosity. I have never been at sea, for more than a day, and I certainly have never seen a floating lab at work. The mission is the North Atlantic Aerosols and Marine Ecosystems Study (NAAMES). This blog is not about the science as much as the people behind it. I will leave the science discoveries to the 32 bright minds onboard. So how does a floating lab work? Let's figure it out together.