This morning at 10 am sharp the Atlantis pulled away from our mooring so smoothly I didn't notice we had started moving. I think it's safe to say that that was probably the last time I will be unaware of the ship's motions. We steamed out through a channel cut in the Columbia bar and quickly met the tumultuous waves of the Northern Pacific. The Columbia bar is a large sandbar formed by the vast volumes of sediment pouring out of the mouth of the Columbia river and it presents a significant navigational hazard. For this reason, ships such as ours are taken through the channel by a pilot--an expert in navigating the bar. However, his task complete, we had no further use for our pilot and made him walk the plank!
Just kidding, he climbed off the side of the ship on a rope ladder of his own accord and jumped to a waiting speedboat! His task complete, he waved goodbye and headed off to track down threats to England... err, go pilot other ships into the harbor.
Anyways, even without the Bondesque stunt life aboard the ship has been quite exciting. The ship has been tossing up and down and occaisionally rolling from side-to-side quite dramatically. Elizabeth (the other intern in Anne's lab) and I practiced jumping in time with the pitching of the ship to gain extra moments of hang time! Imagine jumping a mere inch off the deck and landing what feels like seconds later. (Okay, written out that's a lot less cool than it felt but I hope you get the idea.) Seasickness has affected certain members of our party more so than others. A couple of people are still huddled at the rail of the ship but everyone's starting to do better. For my own part, I've tried not to believe in seasickness. In general, I've found that my attitude mentally can have an enormous influence over how I feel physiologically. Hence I have remained confident that seasickness does not affect me. After all, my queasy stomach is most likely due to engorging myself on the excellent ship's food.
Next up: I'll have my first early watch shift from 4-8 tomorrow morning and hopefully I'll see my first OBS recovery!
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