On-Board Entertainment

Yesterday’s post was really heavy on the science, so I’m going to give all of my readers a bit of a break and talk again about life at sea. We’ve now been aboard the R/V Endeavor for two weeks – time is certainly flying! We are essentially sailing in the middle of nowhere and are together almost 24/7, working very hard to ensure our experiments are running smoothly and gathering data (to say nothing of the amazing crew, who work around the clock). It’s very easy to go a little stir crazy being in a confined space all the time, so in order to keep up morale and maintain our sanity, we formulate our own on-board entertainment. We do have a lot of movies and TV shows that we can watch, as well as a library with hundreds of books, but over the last couple days, we ramped up the amusements.

The first was a haiku contest (haikus are Japanese poems with seventeen syllables grouped in three lines: five syllables – seven syllables – five syllables) in which all the scientists and Erich, our Marine Tech (he keeps everything running for us) submitted poems anonymously. The haikus were then grouped into categories and judged by the First Mate, Shanna. To my surprise, I won for the most “HAI-gooeyest” haiku (i.e. the cheesiest). Here is my submission:

Gentle seas ahead
The NOx Box hums gleefully
Science is awesome

My Hai-gooeyest medal (made by Dr. Bess Ward, our Chief Scientist)

My Hai-gooeyest medal (made by Dr. Bess Ward, our Chief Scientist)

I am quite proud of it  ☺

This morning I awoke to another of the science party’s entertainments – a shrunken Styrofoam head (like the Styrofoam cups from a few days ago). I call her Frida, after Frida Kahlo, the Mexican painter.

Frida, the Shrunken Head

Frida, the Shrunken Head

When I went to get ice for the NOx Box, I opened the freezer and there, encased in ice, was a shrunken head staring back at me. It freaked me out…not quite what I expect to see at 3:45 in the morning! The rest of the science team had frozen her to surprise Andrew and he left it for me to see. Andrew and I are now in possession of Frida and have to figure out where (and for whom) to hide her. I can’t wait!

Finally, today is dedicated to our mothers. The science team and I wish all of our moms a very happy Mother’s Day. We love and miss you.

On a personal note, a very, very big thank you to my mom who is my staunchest ally, biggest supporter, and most trusted confidante – thank you for always believing in me and pushing me to be my best (I certainly wouldn’t be on this expedition without your support and encouragement). I love you! XO

Get ready for lots of science tomorrow!
Until next time,
Ms. B.


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