8 weeks 3 days
Submitted by Julia DeMarines on Sat, 05/24/2014 - 01:35
Cabin fever sets in, and the shenanigans increase. A scavenger hunt, remake of an old tech photo and an epic 30th party makes the crux of the cruise a positive experience!
It seems that the number of weeks living on the ship directly corresponds to the amount of shenanigans had. The infamous week six cabin fever sets in, and everyone felt it, and some reacted in highly amusing ways. For me it was a very strong desire to have alone time and chocolate. For my friend and core describer, Graham, it was photo bombing the core lab with hilarious memes! He made about 60 memes relating to our expedition thus far. That’s just the start of it.
We had a hump day party that was mentioned in Lesley’s blog a while back, where the day shifters (noon to midnight) came dressed as pirates, and the night shifters (on the midnight to noon shift) made masks of everyone on the shift and swapped faces for the party. The masks somehow migrated through the ship hanging in windows and acquiring accessories, such as top hats, vampire fangs, mustaches, and alien ears. They are very lifelike and are actually quite creepy! Imaging going down the stairs, your head is down and you go to reach the door handle and BAM! the face of your co-chief scientist is staring you down! They definitely keeps you on your toes. Many people didn’t like the masks, but for whatever reason, I liked that element of surprise (because even though you vaguely remember where the masks are, they still shock you).
As an educator officer, one of our duties is going around the ship videoconferencing to classrooms around the world. My first stop is going outside to the portside of the ship to show students what the Pacific Ocean looks like. The door we walk through had an alien Sue Mahony (from the physical properties lab) peeking in the window, which was highly amusing to explain to students and always got many laughs.
When I applied to be education officer on this expedition, I knew full well that my 30th birthday would fall near the end of the expedition and fall towards the end of the six-week slump, which gave me something to look forward to. There normally is a “two week left” party that was scheduled for two days before my birthday, but instead of having two celebrations, they combined both parties into one EPIC party. It was an aquatic space themed party. In the UK they call it a “fancy dress party” we call it a costume party. I’m not sure if this qualifies as shenanigans, but it was certainly an extremely entertaining event. A sea dragon (from space), jellyfish, a few squids, Darth Vader, robot, astronaut, and an overgrown prawn were in attendance. Sounds like shenanigans to me and it was truly awesome.
I had mentioned I wanted to do a scavenger hunt around the ship near the beginning of the cruise, and a few very sneaky friends planned the most epic of scavenger hunts during the day, before the party. I learned what the “Bosun’s locker” was, and where the Koomey is located. If you know what these are, we’d love your input in the comments section! In order to obtain clues, I had to perform tasks such as page the entire ship asking about the Koomey (which I had no idea at the time) and ask the legendary Bubba to meet me in the catwalk immediately so he could judge my ability to turn a rotary cone on a drill bit in order to get my next clue.
The scavenger hunt took me all over the ship, and I even had to lift a massive floor tile with suction cups (very James Bond) to get to the next clue. The next to last clue instructed me to go to the place where Leg 122 had once been. Quite cryptic but in the old files of the ship, there is one of the most epic photographs I had ever seen; the entire tech crew of Leg 122 standing on the helideck with tools from the labs made to look like weapons, looking very intimidating. Needless to say, while flipping through the old files of past cruises, we fell in love with this photo. So I followed suit and went to the helideck where there I found the day shifters with "weapons" (coring tools) waiting to do a remake of the photo. You can see how it turned out in this blog photo. Epic.
My conclusion, the entire expedition 350 (especially the night shifters, who did some serious scheming) are full of shenanigans, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. For me it was the best way I could think of to turn 30. How many opportunities do you get to dress up as an astronaut to attend a space aquatic themed party on a ship in the Pacific Ocean? My guess? Little to none. I swear sometimes this ship it feels like a middle school. The labs now resemble middle school lockers decorated to our hearts content, and a day full of scavenger hunts and aquatic/space themed dance parties would have been every 13 year olds dream day, but that’s why I like it.
Until next blog,