The "pasttime" of sailors

I’ve spent a lot of time on this ship knitting.  One of the things I was excited about when I got accepted to School of Rock was that I would be able to knit on a boat, just like a real sailor.  Well, like sailors from Northern Europe used to do–I don’t know about other parts of the world, or modern sailors.

It’s been great to keep my hands busy during lectures, since it doesn’t require use of my ears.  During little 3-5 minute breaks, I pick it up.  What you see there was all just balls of yarn when I got on the R/V JOIDES Resolution.  It drapes quite a ways down below the picture frame, too.  One of the instructors, Leslie S. (who also knits) pointed out that I am lucky to have a hobby like this that can give me a little bit of personal time onship.  For a boat this big, there is very little space to feel private.  I can only imagine what it is like for those who spend two months, or even longer, living on ship and working 12 hour days, every day.  It is almost like a vocation.

The upside is that we (the School of Rock-ers) are really feeling like part of a team.  There is always someone there to help you understand what is being talked about, to show you how to do a lab, to enter information to make labels for your sediment samples, to help livecast to Japan–basically whatever you need, someone wants to be there for you.  It goes back to our original conversation, back in San Diego, about how science requires a team effort.  We are getting to live that team effort, and are making our own contributions to the R/V JOIDES Resolution team.

Right now I am a mixture of “I can’t wait to get off this boat” and “oh no!  I’m almost leaving this boat and all my new friends!”  I am lucky in that I live in Austin, so I can drive to College Station and at least see some of the faculty and science staff that I have met on this trip.  But for most of my team, this may be the last time I see them, and that feels strange.

If you are a knitter, and the picture above is confusing you, it’s because I took it with my laptop, which for some reason takes mirror image pictures (note the letters on my jacket).  So in real life, the ball-end of the yarn is held by my left hand, and I am knitting continental (aka “picking”) with the working needle in my right hand.  I’m knitting as much as I possibly can, since we get off the boat in two short days!