Into the Storm

by Chloe Immonen
July 7, 2018 @ 18:02

I finally experienced seasickness. I had begun to think that I was just going to escape it altogether but after five days of spending hours on end focusing on filling resin columns, taping them carefully, moving around, and lifting heavy water samples in the lab with very few windows, all while the ship tilts back-and-forth to some pretty wild extremes finally got to me after all. Sorry to be graphic, but I threw up once, felt immediately better than I had all day, but not good enough to eat until over 24 hours later. I have been taking naps whenever possible and drinking lots of water, both of which have been helping immensely. I still don’t sleep more than two hours at a time, but my samples have been running much more smoothly now (thanks to Magic Wrap), so that is a bonus.

As I spend more time with the crew, I’m finding every single person to be so kind and enjoyable to be around. The crew on the bridge now know that I want to be informed whenever they see whales and it has already paid off! As we were deploying an underway CTD [a reusable instrument to determine ocean temperature and salinity] off the aft deck, a pod of sperm whales was out on the starboard side of the ship.

Everyone is also curious about the projects that I’m working on. I love getting to tell them and ask them about their lives and their rolls on the ship as well. It seems like quite the crazy life they all lead. Most of the time, they work four weeks on, and four weeks off, but the Arctic voyage is six weeks on, and six weeks off. My favourite question to ask is what everyone likes to do in their time off because the answers are all so unique – from scuba diving and foraging for mushrooms to pottery and horseback-riding, everyone has a cool hobby to entertain them in their long stretches of time off.

Laurier fjordShea and I tended to the incubations on the helicopter deck for a couple hours this afternoon. I am stoked to be gaining skills in his line of work. The rest of the time, I was running my own samples, or sleeping with one break for dinner (feeling good enough to eat 😊 ).

Today marked the beginning of the on-board bingo craze. Nearly every person on the ship participates, they announce ~15 numbers per day just after lunch and each round, they go for a different shape (horizontal or vertical lines, wine glass, cactus, blackout, etc). The prizes are quite extravagant – there’s an expensive coffee-maker, high end scotch, and camping equipment – just to name a few!

Tonight is another movie night with unlimited popcorn. We are watching a film called ‘Annihilation’. I am mostly going to attend for the popcorn and the extra-strong G&T’s.

Not too much else to report here! I’m still having a wonderful time at sea regardless of feeling ill and not getting much sleep.


Read more from Chloe’s voyage to the Arctic: Bitter-sweet Bon Voyage, Fueled for Exploration

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