by Tina van De Flierdt
I have been writing a lot about the excitement of being at sea. This post will be dedicated to giving you some impression on how life aboard the ship (the Joides Resolution) feels like.
Below you can see a picture of the cabin I am sharing with one of my female colleagues. We are lucky in that we scored one of the biggest cabins with a private bathroom. For most other scientists the cabins are significantly smaller and the bathroom is shared with another cabin. I am sleeping in the lower bunk and find it quite comfortable. The only downside of our cabin is that we do not have a window! From the beginning of the expedition on I started getting into a routine of visiting the gym every other day. It is good enough equipped that everybody can find some of their favorite machines for workout. Moreover, we are very fortunate that we have a great Yoga teacher on board (Paleomagnetist Lisa Tauxe). She gives Yoga classes every other night at 1am, which is right after the end of my shift. I am not going every time, but it is the best thing to do after a tiring shift, and Lisa is simply fantastic in monitoring the different levels of abilities in the group and adjusting her program accordingly.
The first trip after waking up in the morning is usually to the mess. The mess on a ship is the place where people eat – just like a cafeteria back home. Our mess is quite spacious and offers place for about 40 people to eat at the same time. There is a coffee machine, an ice machine, a fridge, a toaster, a microwave, soda machines, and a constant supply of cereals and deserts. Food is served four times a day by the galley (kitchen) personal: 5 – 7 am/pm and 11 – 1 am/pm. During these times the mess becomes the social hot spot of the ship, where besides eating also a lot of information exchange happens (just like in the real world). The quality of the food is reasonable, but by now we are out of fresh stuff, and the same dishes tend to reappear on the menu…
Arguably one of the best thing about life on the ship is that we do not have to do our own laundry or cleaning of the cabins! We can leave laundry bags with dirty laundry outside our cabin, and some 12 hours later the bag comes back with clean and folded laundry – heaven for people like me who hate doing laundry. A big thank you to the stewards doing the work on the ship.