January 11, 2009
Knowing that I was standing on solid ground for the last time in six weeks was very strange but it came without ceremony or celebration. There was so much gear to get to the ship. Jerry (Jeremiah) even had his long board! It was all piled in the middle of the ferry with the crew sitting around on the edge of the boat anticipating this big step.
The big event of the day was the science meeting where Chief Scientist, Dr. Steven D'Hondt welcomed the science crew to the ship. We learned where we would be sleeping, when we would be working, and basic ship protocols.
Most of the science crew is made up of graduate students who are in their 20's. They are all sleeping in dorm-sized "berths" on the deck below the main lab. There are typically two people per berth, two berths share a "head" or bathroom. There is one room, referred to as "Boys Town" where four guys share a berth with one head. I am sharing space with the female SSSG, Shipboard Scientific Services Group. Her name is Amy Simoneau. She lives on the ship and helps the scientific effort proceed smoothly. Our berth is between the mess and the analytical chemistry lab, a very busy area. We have a porthole which is a much sought after commodity.
Half the science crew will be working from midnight to noon and the other half (including me) will be working from noon to midnight. This allows for a continuous crew throughout the cruise. Needless to say, coffee is a mainstay onboard a working ship!
Finally, we discussed "ship courtesies." When half the people are sleeping in a berth, the other half are working. This means the sleeping quarters are off limits during your shift, you need to be quiet in the hallways and keep areas clean. Every desk, space and room is used 24 hours a day so courtesy is an absolute must. As long as everyone respects the space and privacy of the people they work with and bunk with, the ship operates just fine.Questions: