We woke up to the most stunning sunrise. Though the sun was masked by a windswept mask of clouds; she painted the water below with a soft and soothing pink. It can be hard to translate what is seen here through a picture or video. There is just something different about the perspective of the waves, the way we take in the sounds and smells, when you are surrounded in endless miles of sea.
On my last trip with the NAAMES crew I spent a great deal of time with green cheeks. Every morning I would walk (stumble) by one of the crew members, Clindor Cacho, a man who’s smile is so big his eyes practically close, leaving just enough of a tiny sparkle, to make room for his infectious grin. He would say, “Nicole, be one with the sea.” Ok, it didn’t work because a part of me didn’t let it. To be one with the sea, to let go of our natural and complicated ability to keep our balance and walk straight even though our surroundings are leaning and turning and sending us in different directions.
To surrender to what is and let go of the fight to hold onto what was. This is just one of the many ways the ocean mirrors and reflects all that is life. I feel great this time around. Maybe I am learning….
I love surprises, they give us the opportunity to dive into the unknown with unquenchable curiosity. Two years ago, I made the decision to leave my job as an Atlanta television reporter. I moved home to Massachusetts and found myself on Cape Cod with no job and no idea of what was next, no idea about the pure magic that was about to enter my life. A friend of mine called and asked me to do a favor for a small radio station where she had just taken a job. All I had to do was go to Woods Hole, MA and interview a scientist about a mission called the NASA_NAAMES project. That scientist would end up changing my life and perspective in ways I am still trying to find the words to fully explain. After a discussion about their impending journey at sea--an invitation to join them. Though, Mike Behrenfeld and I still disagree on who asked who we DO agree on the result--a fantastic partnership was born. With less than twenty four hours notice I was on a ship headed to parts of the North Atlantic that few ever see in winter AND for good reason!! The conditions can be intense! At the time, given the challenges at sea and my video equipment being limited to one tiny little camera . (RE: 24 hours notice) this blog became a way for me to communicate with the family members whose loved ones were so far away. Giving them an onboard look at the fascinating work at the hands of those they call family. Fast forward we are at it again!! This time as the scientists dive deeper into all that is unseen in our oceans--we will dive deeper into their research, the incredible sacrifices that come with that and the love that fuels their mission of discovery. The journey continues March 20th.....
The R/V Atlantis is an impressive ship, a 275-foot, steel-hulled research vessel operated by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.