June 8, 2017
Written by: Alexandria Hahn
Edited by: Amy Whitt
It is Day 1, and I cannot believe I am actually aboard the RV Pelican in Louisiana and waiting for the vessel to leave the dock. I am nervous because this is my first time away from home but also my first time at sea! I graduated from high school last week, and I was reluctant to agree to go on this cruise, but this is what I want to do with my life, so why not start now?
As we leave the dock, I feel my nerves begin to calm, and I think I am ready to begin this journey. The crew is super nice and helpful, and the scientists are all eager to get to know each other and begin work. Our bunks are small but large enough for us to sleep and get around. The galley, or mess, is nice, and there are plenty of snacks and goodies to keep everyone happy. I am particularly excited about the freezer full of ice cream! The cook, Jerome, is great so meal times have been a real treat.
So far, I have not experienced any sea sickness; the seas have been very nice to us. My first night sleeping was odd because I continued to wake up at weird hours, but that was probably just because I had to get used to the new sounds and movement of the ship. I like to wake up early for a cup of coffee and a little breakfast, so I am usually in the galley by 6:15 am, and then work starts at 7:00 am for us visual observers. We occasionally have science team meetings where we (the marine mammal observation team) meet with all of the other teams on board to relay information. I enjoy these meetings because I am trying to figure out where I fit in in the marine science world. I have found that I love watching for marine mammals, but I also love watching the readings for salinity and temperature change as the CTD (Conductivity, Temperature, and Depth recorder) is deployed into the water. Understanding how all of the teams work together with their information is something that I am loving, especially because everyone is getting along so well.
The men on board are so funny because when they see fish, they can’t help but throw their lines in the water. They have caught four mahi mahi, also called dolphinfish, so far, and we had them for dinner last night. It’s the small, fun things like this that make this cruise even more interesting and enjoyable!
I have been staying up late which is cool because I’ve gotten to see the change from the daily crew to the night crew which means that I have also gotten to know other scientists and crew members and their schedules on the ship. I find it particularly funny how there are some people that you instantly click with and get along with throughout the cruise, while others stay quiet and do their own thing. Luckily, there has been no tension as everyone has gotten along with one another. I am excited to continue this expedition. You can follow along on my journey via the Azura blog and here.
***This blog article is part of our LADC-GEMM 2017 Survey blog series. Check out more articles in this series here, on the LADC-GEMM website, and on Alexandria Hahn’s blog. Also, be sure to “Like” the new LADC-GEMM Facebook page!***