Tammy Orilio, Life at Sea, June 18, 2011

NOAA Teacher at Sea: Tammy Orilio
NOAA Ship Oscar Dyson
Mission: Pollock Survey
Geographical Area of Cruise: Gulf of Alaska
Date: 18 June 2011

Bunk beds
Bunk beds

Since we haven’t yet arrived at our first fishing spot yet, I’m going to let you all know what life has been like onboard the NOAA Ship Oscar Dyson.  I am on the 4 a.m. – 4 p.m. work shift, but since we haven’t been doing much in terms of trawling/collecting fish, I haven’t had to get up at 4 in the morning yet!  Another day or so (definitely not tomorrow, I’m told) and I will have to re-adjust my sleep schedule so I can wake up at 3:45 for my shift!  But for the time being, I’ve been waking up around 9:00.  Breakfast is served in the mess hall from 7-8, but I’m a cereal junkie, so missing the hot breakfast is no big deal for me.  Speaking of cereal, I just had Life for the first time and love it 🙂

The teeny tiny head.  Smaller than any dorm bathroom I've been in!
The teeny tiny head. Smaller than any dorm bathroom I’ve been in!
My whole stateroom. Not much room!
My whole stateroom. Not much room!

Back to my day.  When I wake up, I have to be very quiet moving around my stateroom because my bunkmate works the 4 p.m. – 4 a.m. shift and is still sleeping.  I first head down to the acoustics lab one deck below my sleeping quarters to find out what’s on the agenda for the day.  So far, it’s been a lot of trials/test runs to see if all the equipment is working properly. I’ve also spent some time with the other scientists that are on the day shift with me, and they’ve been great at explaining how they use sound to help them locate fish.  When I’m not with the science team, (which so far, has been fairly often!) I’m usually in the lounge and/or conference room watching movies or reading.  There are over 1000 movies on board!  I try to stay out of my stateroom because my bunkmate is asleep, so I try to take everything I might want for the day with me- Kindle, camera, computer, iPod.

After my shift ends at 4 p.m., I either read some more or go to the “gym.”  There are actually two gyms on board, each with a treadmill, elliptical, stationary bike, etc etc.  I definitely need to go after all the great food I’ve been eating on this trip!  Adam and Joe, our stewards, always make sure to have a variety of delicious foods out at every meal.  Here’s what was on the dinner menu tonight:  bacon wrapped tenderloin steak, shrimp & crab St. Jacques, twice baked potato, green beans, and focaccia bread.  In addition, there’s always salad fixings to choose from.  I’m eating better here than I do at home, so stopping at the gym is necessary.

After dinner, I head back to my stateroom to shower and update my blog 🙂  Showering on a moving vessel is quite an experience, and tonight was actually the first time I had to hang on to the handle in the shower- makes it very difficult to wash your hair with one hand!  Then I read or watch a movie, and head to bed.  I’m on the bottom bunk (because I got to the ship 2 days before my bunkmate!), which is better in terms of the motion of the boat.  Less of a chance to fly into the air and fall out of bed 🙂  Our bunks have a little curtain that wraps around them, so we can block out as much light as possible- remember, way up here in Alaska it doesn’t get dark until well after midnight, so I need that curtain!

That’s about it for my shipboard life so far.  I know I keep saying that we’ll get to work in another day or so, but I promise, we’re starting tomorrow!  Be on the lookout for more science-y logs from me.  We are back in some rough seas again, so I’m taking some Dramamine and hitting the sack!!  Let me know if you have any questions about ANYTHING!

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