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A Sunny Day!

June 23, 2010

I’m feeling so much better today. The seas have calmed down dramatically, the rain has stopped. I didn’t even have to put on all of my foul weather gear to go outside!

I have started making a point of eating between every station during the night so that I don’t starve. Last night, I ate two pork sandwiches, a boiled egg, a plum, and some grapes – yum. Plus, one of the ABs was using the juicer to make orange/apple/pear juice and she made me a glass too! It was delicious. I love juice. Unfortunately, this ship has kind of a shitty juice supply – it’s all made from concentrate and in cans. Good thing I learned the secrets of the juicer!

I have not yet mentioned how awesome my boots are. While in Dutch Harbor, I went to the Alaska Ship Supply (a major presence in town) and bought some steel toe xtratuf neoprene rain boots. These are what all the fishermen (and basically everyone else) wears. They’re really awesome because they hug your ankles so they stay on really well. I didn’t need steel toes since they aren’t required on this ship, but I figured I would get them for the added safety since they were only $3 extra. I love these boots.

The multicore has generally recovered from its misadventures. It’s still a little messed up, but they got a bunch of really good mud samples yesterday. I have decided that my favorite deployment is the grabs. It’s basically this shovel thing that we drop down to the bottom to scoop up mud. When it comes up, we wash all the mud out and then filter it for creepy looking creatures like worms, crabs, and alien bugs. It’s so fun to see what weird stuff is in it.

I have started imagining a 7-week long trip where I visit all my friends who are in cool places in the Oct/Nov/Dec time frame. I’m also becoming increasingly inclined to move back to Baltimore sooner rather than later. I miss Baltimore.

I’m starting to warm up to life aboard this ship – but I can’t imagine being here for any significant length of time. Maybe I’ll change my mind once I forget what it feels like to be seasick, but that’s how I’m feeling now. I also don’t feel any ownership over anything so I’m not particularly engaged – I’m just generally learning a lot of different things ranging from oceanography to system administration to debugging.

At the very least, this trip was incredibly helpful to me in establishing what I want to do with my life. At graduation, I felt really lost and disoriented. Now, I feel much more confident in the fact that I want to be solving big problems – like revolutionizing the energy industry. I don’t feel particularly passionate about anything I’m doing out here. So now I’m debating whether I should work for a couple years or start applying to grad school. I’ll definitely need to go to grad school at some point, so it’s more a question of whether I want to work for a while first. I’m kind of leaning towards working.

As a bonus, a photo of the rainbow we saw immediately before leaving Dutch Harbor.

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  1. Youngtimers TV

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