DrGw390 – in transit to first site

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April 27, 2022 by Dr. G

(*If you missed my first post on my JOIDES Resolution adventure, I encourage you to start with DrGw390 – Week of quarantine. All posts will be tagged with #DrGw390.)

When I first started on Expedition 390, my intent was to try to take one photo a day to capture my experience at sea. But there is so much going on and so much that I am doing, it is quite a challenge to keep all of the activity to one photo and tweet! But here is a collection of images from our days of transit after we departed Cape Town on April 12 and arrived at our first site on April 20.

The following was a big moment. Right before the sampling took place, the Expedition Project Manager Emily Estes came running down to my office to say “we’re taking our first discrete sample from the expedition!” The sample was being collected from core on one of the engineering expeditions that set the re-entry cones in place for us. There were so many people in lab, photos were being taken… it was quite a moment!

I had my fingers-crossed I wouldn’t get seasick. I took some Bonine to be pro-active to fight any feelings of illness, and it worked. No symptoms for me! Unfortunately, not all of my shipmates were that lucky…

As we were underway, I was able to really dig in to setting up my Google Earth projects for the expedition. Despite a hiccup of learning that I wouldn’t be able to access Google Drive from my laptop (this access was blocked for everyone on the ship), I was able to use the direct Google links and update my three files for the ship’s location, scientist biographies, and voicemail project.

I couldn’t help it – I had to bring some quilts! This one I made a year ago while thinking about what quilts I could make to tell the story of the expedition. But I also made some small quilts to hang in the Mess Hall. It took some levels of approval to hang the mini quilt, but I’m thrilled to be able to showcase some creative work at sea!

One of my responsibilities on the ship is to contribute to the expedition blog (see the bottom of the Expedition 390 website). Increasing ocean literacy is so important to me and my mission as an instructor, so it was natural to dedicate a blog post to the ocean literacy principles.

I crossed over some significant geographic features during the transit to our first site, starting with…

And our first Saturday during transit held a special dessert in store for us. I’ve heard so much about the weekly lava cake served, and it was really delightful – once I figured out the order process! (Myself and another scientist thought we put in the request for a lava cake for the next meal – but it turns out you put the order in and they make it right away. We had unfortunately grabbed our dinner and went outside on deck to eat, not knowing the lava cakes were waiting for us. Oops!)

We have laundry service on the ship. We are each provided a laundry bag with our room number on the outside. We place our clothes we want washed in the bag and put it outside the door to our room at night before we go to bed. When we wake up in the morning, the bag is in front of the door – but this time, with clothes freshly washed and folded! One of the scientists noticed that our room numbers have been written on the tags of our clothing by those washing our clothes (someone said it is because if someone puts out only a few items of clothing, those loads are combined to not waste water, and then the clothes can be sorted back for delivery to the correct rooms).

We were out to sea for Easter Sunday. There was chocolate shared, and even an origami bunny hunt on the ship for each of us to find a bunny with our name and a special treat!

This expedition is short 6 scientists. Although I am on the ship to do education and outreach activities, since I’m trained in marine geology and geophysics, I was asked to assist the scientists in the laboratory. I was quickly trained on two instruments and am assisting with imaging and collecting additional physical properties of the split core. I’m excited to be having fun with science at sea, too!

And here’s the second geographic feature we crossed that could not be seen (for different reasons than the Prime Meridian, of course!)

On some of our transit days, the water was pretty rough. The swells actually reached 12 feet at one point. Doing ship tours while bouncing around took alot of coordination, but I’m getting better!

In addition to blogging about the expedition, I’m also co-running the social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) for JOIDES Resolution. Sometimes, I’m really just retweeting myself(!), as I am here.

A group of us just happened to be sitting out on one of the picnic tables on the bow of the ship when the crew started coming along to prepare the thrusters for lowering and getting us set in place to start coring – exciting for us all to watch and realize that we’re finally here!

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