15 March, 2001
We boarded the ship last night after dinner. Our work was cut out. We unloaded at least 55 boxes of personal luggage and scientific gear. We made dozens of trips up and down steep stairs. I certainly didn't need the Stairmaster today!!! Our berthing is on the second floor in the Science quarters. We showered and headed for the bunk. The biggest challenge was figuring out how to get into the bed! I also needed to make sure I didn't sit up or I would end up getting some sense knocked in. Lights were out about 0100. Ahhh! What a restful night. Reveille occurred at 0630. After a tasty breakfast we went to the helio deck to observe the 0900 deployment. The horizon was gray. The weather conditions were windy, cold and snow was spitting. The temperature is 30 degrees but this doesn't reflect wind chill. The water temperature is 40 degrees. The deployment was exciting. Many were on deck to view the scenery and work on their sea legs.
The Coast Guard had an opportunity to meet all of the science party. We also met the crewmembers. Captain Julich introduced everyone and his or her responsibilities. Emergency procedures were thoroughly covered. When reporting to muster we report to the hangar for accountability. EEBD's or Emergency Escape Breathing Device's were shown and we became familiar with their use. In the event of a shipboard fire, we would have emergency air pack for breathing. Once at the hangar we practiced survival and getting into and out of the exposure suits or "Gumbys". These are encapsulating neoprene suits that provide buoyancy and thermal protection. This was an interesting experience. Thank goodness a Coast Guard member was available for help! These suits aren't the easiest things in the world to put on. After this we made our way around the deck of the ship to locate our lifeboats in the unlikely event of an emergency. Each person is assigned to a parcticular lifeboat. The final task that the crew administered was how to get out of our berth and get to the weather deck in the dark. We each wore a hood over our head and had to make our wall down the hall, up the stairs and out onto the deck without the aide of our eyes. This was an interesting experience. Luckily we each had a crewmember with us to make sure we were moving in the correct direction. All of this information was extremely beneficial.
I was briefed on the sampling protocol for the CTD collections. This included the procedures for the seawater sampling. We will begin our first station at 1800. I will begin my first shift tonight at 2400. Seasickness hasn't been bad. The only real thing I am experiencing is a lot of drowsiness. This is expected to be gone in a couple of days. I am giving into it right now. It sure beats the alternative!
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