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28 May, 2000

Rockiní and Rolliní in the Great Blue Labrador Sea

The Healy is constantly moving. Itís not just moving forward, either. Ocean swells cause the ship to rock from side to side, up and down, back and forth. When the waves get really big, being on a ship is like being on a wild ride at an amusement park.

Sailors use special names to describe the different movements the ship makes. When the ship tips forward and backward, this is called the pitch. Pitch makes you feel like you are riding a bucking bronco at a rodeo. First the bronco kicks its back legs up in the air, and then it rears up with its front legs. If the pitch is very steep, you better hang on tight!

The shipís roll is the movement it makes when it rocks from side to side. A gentle roll makes you feel like you are being rocked in a cradle. It can be very comforting at night as you drift off to sleep. When the seas get rough, though, you can roll right out of bed! Thatís why the beds (which are called ďracksĒ on a ship) have bars on the side - just like a babyís crib!

When the ship is perfectly level (not tilted), the roll is 0 degrees. Right now the roll is about 4 degrees. That feels like a very gentle rocking motion. If the roll is greater than 35 degrees, look out! Anything that isní t secured (tied down) is likely to go flying through the air. Thatís why everything on the ship, including the furniture, is bolted to the floor. Even the computers have to be strapped down.

How are pitch and roll measured? To find out, click on Susanís page.

Susan's Entry Today.

DAILY DATA LOG (5/28/00):

Air Temperature: 8.5 degrees C 47 degrees F

Latitude 48N

Longitude 48W

Sunrise 4:35 a.m.

Sunset 8:32 p.m.

This is our roommate, Carol. Can you see the rail on our bunk beds?

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