Aside from the gentle rocking motion, the 12-hour shifts, the vacuum toilets, the noise of 12 thrusters keeping us in place, and the 360º view of a completely flat horizon, it’s just like living on land.
Except we’re in a tiny, self-sufficient, floating city populated by
– two dozen people with PhDs in earth science
– a smattering of graduate students on their way to that title
– 24 laboratory technicians who can do cool things like shoot x-rays at samples to determine their composition and who can fix anything
– 47 engineers, electricians, and other crew, including drillers and the captain, first mate, etc.
– 1 medical doctor
– 5 cooks and a baker
– 9 stewards who amazingly keep up with the cleaning and laundry and dishes and all sorts of needs of the total 124 people on board!
We left port with 10,000 eggs. I’ve been meaning to ask how many we have now after a week, with eggs to order at any of four mealtimes a day (every meal is breakfast for someone).
It’s difficult to imagine life at sea if you haven’t been out before. I can’t describe it for you completely, but I can give you a taste in pictures. For taste itself, I’ll do a separate post about food.
You’re probably curious about the toilets. So here’s one. It works on a vacuum system, which is much more sensitive than your house’s plumbing system. It works very well, unless you don’t follow the instructions, posted on a placard above every commode. “This toilet disposes of body waste and toilet paper only. Anything else causes blockage. For repairs, call 290.”
The bathrooms in the accommodation area have showers. I won’t miss sometimes bumping into the walls and having my shampoo fall over because of the waves, but I will miss the great water pressure and temperature control!
Cabins are just right for two people, a desk, and surprisingly generous storage space. Here’s our cabin, which has a strange shape because it’s actually inside the right-side (starboard) prow.
I promise to post some more science tomorrow! For now, it’s time for some food and soon the top bunk seen above. It’s very comfortable!