If the boats a’rockin, don’t come a’knockin.

Saturday was our first “real” day at sea, I guess you could say. I’m not sure how much I really slept. The weather is a bit rough, to say the least. I wasn’t scheduled to be on watch until 9am, so I woke up around 8 to make sure to eat something before I started in on a 3 hour venture. My first hour was scheduled to be on the pilot house – there’s a small platform that you can crawl up to and lookout from. I met Tiana up there, but was left to my own devices not long after. I had my iTouch with me, which kept me company and occupied while I just watched whitecap after whitecap.Unfortunately, the songs that I’ve had stuck in my head recently (Don’t Stand So Close to Me by The Police — really? Why that song…I have no idea, but all I know is that it keeps and image of Kevin from The Office stuck in my head) are not on my iTouch.


The EXACT image I have in my head when I hear this song.

From 10-12am I climbed the 30 feet up to the mid-level platform. I brought up snacks and water with me and sat with Kait for an hour. When I went to bring my iTouch out, it was covered in what I told myself was someone’s leftover snack that had gotten mixed up with some water. (More on this later so remember the anecdote). Her and I put the music on shuffle and entertained ourselves by horribly belting out Elton John way out of tune. Tiiinnny danncceerr in my haaannnndd. That was on repeat. Also,  Crocodile Rock, which Kait later said was still stuck in her head. Therefore, the entire crew that was in the salon that night sung along to it together. Needless to say, none of us should quit our day jobs.

Matt came up and joined me around 11am to switch out with Kait, who had been up there for 2 hours already and had been getting sick thanks to the rough seas. About partway through the watch, I just couldn’t take it anymore. I said to Matt, “I really, really have to pee.” He simply said, “Hmm. We haven’t had that problem before. Johnny and I can take care of that from up here, usually.” Ugh. I climbed down, went, and climbed back up for the remaining 20 minutes of the 3 hours. Climbing those ratlines is something I will continually complain about even after I get used to it.

So, when I got back down, Johnny radioed in asking if I had forgotten something in the bag. I was listening to the conversation that he was having about it with Ian from the salon. Johnny said, “Well there’s a bag of vomit in here that opened up and now it’s all over my food.” SO IT WASN’T SMOOSHED SNACK. Disgusting. So disgusting. I came up and told him via the radio that it wasn’t me, I had gotten stuff all over my iTouch and wondered what it was. Kait could vouch for me on that. The mystery still remains as to who vomited and then let the bag explode in the communal backpack. I don’t even want to spend any more time on that topic. Just gross.

It wasn’t long after lunch that Captain Bob called everyone in due to thunderstorms on the horizon. Probably not the best idea to be standing 30 feet in the air on a metal platform over water if there’s lightening. That’s just my opinion. The rain came quick and I noticed that Johnny, Matt, and Dr.Wise were out on deck in their swim suits pretty much laughing like 5 year olds. Ahhh I caught on quick — shower time. I went out with Kait and missed the real downpour, so Johnny came running back to tell Captain Bob to swing ‘er round again for another dousing. Now, I can say that I have showered with 8 out of 12 people on the boat at once as others came out to join, too.

During the day we sailed past the Deepwater Horizon site and it’s two relief wells. It’s definitely not an everyday thing that you’re sailing through the area where the nation’s worst environmental disaster happened not even 5 months ago. We stopped and took a water sample after we had gotten pretty close to the location. I was surprised they didn’t radio to tell us to back off because earlier I had been sitting in the pilothouse with Bailey when we received a call from Enterprise Horizon telling us we needed to maintain a 2 mile barrier. Secret stuff going on in the Gulf, folks. But apparently, the Deepwater site is not really off limits, persay, so we got to see the 2 relief wells and the 8 huge boats floating near them.

Thanks, BP.

Thanks, BP.

There wasn’t much else that went on last night other than a little bit of interviewing from our on-boat journalist. Several of us were in the pilothouse and Steve decided that was when he should get us to answer all his probing questions. I mean that in the nicest way, of course. Somehow I got sucked into going first, but it was interesting to hear everyone’s different life stories and how we all got on this boat together. Learned some interesting things about my crewmates, like Kait traveled around the world solo for a year and a half. Talk about awesome.

I ended up not getting much sleep last night. Not sure why. I took two motion-sickness pills before bed, partly due to precaution and partly because I wanted the drowsiness to lull me into sleep. I woke up around 2am and it felt like my head was literally on the boat’s engine. You can hear the engine humming from just about anywhere and it just seemed to be about 100x louder at 2am when I wanted to sleep. I went up to the pilothouse for the 2am-4am watch to keep the crew company since there was no use laying in bed frustrated. I was hoping to steal the nap seat in the salon, but Kait had claimed it earlier as a bed. I fell back to sleep around 4 am. It made for a really, really long day.

As a sidenote, I’ve been waiting since I got here to use that title on the blog and today just proved to be rough enough to deem it appropriate.


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