By gorm // Friday 28 Sep // 21:58:21 // 2 Comments // View
As Wednesday night rolled on the wind got strong. By Thursday morning, it was almost impossible to stand up, let alone get dressed or move around the ship. By 10 o’clock all of us who had managed to get up and weren’t still lying in bed feeling sick and unable to move were lying on the floor, sliding from side to side in hysterics. Such a ridiculous situation every time you tried to move your balance was completely thrown. Even sitting on the seats, the waves and wet floor would bring you sliding down, so became obvious that the best bet was to stay down.
The watches continued as usual but with somewhat reduced in personnel. All of us when on deck were wearing harnesses to be on the safe side, managed to shoot a great bit of video of Matt parting with his breakfast over the side panning round to Brian receiving a huge wave straight in the face (watch out for this on You Tube). After our early morning watch 2am. tried to sleep but couldn’t, the wind had dropped somewhat and we were running on engine, this changes the whole motion of the ship. With the sails up -whilst at an angle the ship is held stable, when they are down the movement is not only up and down but also side-to-side. I tried propping myself in but just could get comfortable. In the end I resorted to lying up stairs with the bench pushed against the other and managed to wedge myself under the table -this stopped me rolling from side to side and finally I managed to sleep. Today the wind has dropped although is now coming at us fro the West to South West which isn’t so good for us as that is the way we are heading -so into the wind. Must admit I’d thought that the whole journey could have been as rough as yesterday, so we’ve been lucky. If clear skies tonight we should see the Northern Lights. Click to read the full post >
Ok this is completely crazy……no one warned me about this! I thought that the Spanish cruise last Oct would be preparation for anything, but this outweighs anything I’ve ever done in the name of work! Pitching about on a roiling sea (roughly sea state 7) at 4am in the morning trying to do a CTD cast (conductivity, temperature and salinity) whilst fighting the ever present sea sickness is certainly a novelty! However, the results we are getting are really good, which kind of makes up for not being able to eat anything for the past 48 hours (see above comment re. sea sickness!)
It’s a very humbling experience being out here in the middle of nowhere on a beautiful schooner attempting to sail between Spitsbergen and Greenland. We reckon that bar a few icebreakers, we are the northerly most ship in the world at the moment – certainly of the sailing variety. Already we have had to alter our course due to the ever changing pattern of sea ice that is currently lying off the east coast of Greenland. Today we were told by our skipper Gert that the is 10-40% ice cover across the entrance to Scoresby Sund, and that it is lying in a 10-20km thick band – the implications are that with the forecast southerly for the next couple of days, we may well be able to get into the Sund when we arrive sometime on Sunday. Click to read the full post >
These days at sea run together. Combined with the acute sense of seastupidity that now plagues the entire crew, we’re having a tough time collectively recalling one day from the next. It’s now Saturday night as I write, and even yesterday is hard to distinguish from today and the day that preceded it. A couple of highlights that do stand out:
— Waves rise as walls, aside the vessel, gathering and folding over themselves, flashing in a fleeting moment an iridescent tropical blue hue-the only touch of warmth in our cold, damp, dreary surroundings.
–A bunkbed discussion with Liam about what our friends back home in Brooklyn and Manchester respectively are up to, it being Friday night and all. We conclude, with some certainty, that they are likely having a better time than he and I, cooped up in our “zero gravity” cabin. We then figure that many of those Friday nights will be forgotten, but this one will likely be remembered for a lifetime. (We then agree that I’ll be visiting him in Manchester after the trip, and that we’ll be getting a proper drink on.on solid ground.)
Hello to everybody back at home! Sorry I haven’t been in touch so far, but I’ve been struck down pretty bad by the seasickness. The ocean has been really rough for the last few days, and a lot of people on this boat seem to have been stripped right down to their most basic survival skills. Even putting on boots to go outside has been a really hard job. A lot of us seem to be more or less in bed all the time.
Today I had to leave my watch because I needed to vomit, but was asked to help lower a sail before I left…it’s still pretty choppy out at sea, and Beth (who I share my watch with, along with Dallas and Nick) and I had a lot of trouble completing this task. Beth fell down and got soaked by a wave, and I took a bit of a smack to the side of the head. I came back in, made a sick, and had a little nap. Nice.
My days seem to have consisted mostly of trying to wake up in time for my watch; remembering to eat; trying not to throw up; and drinking plenty of water so I don’t get dehydrated. So far I’m failing on most fronts, which is a shame because the food is really great on here. I am remembering to drink water though, so that’s something at least. I’m keeping a smiling face about it all, and seem to be cracking a lot of bad jokes, so it can’t be that bad! Been doing an awful lot of slipping around the cabin. I think I damn near broke my coccyx yesterday slipping across the floor into a table.
Plates, tins of Formaggio, crisps are falling around my head as I write this in the dinning room outside the galley. The past 36 hours have been grim, SW gale, cold driving wind and rain – the stockiness of our team amazes me and I am surprised I haven’t been lynched for subjecting them to such an ordeal. We have continued with our oceanography measurements and oddly lying in the purgatory of my bunk yesterday I envisioned how to make all this scientific visioning into a piece of art. It is difficult not just to illustrate the science but to somehow get across the poetry of this great Greenland Sea ‘tract’ they are conducting. Working this through in my studio on my return will be it’s test but I have been trying to find a way of working the science and art together and the forced prone position of my bunk mixed with endless agitation might have just cracked it.
We are all exhausted and each have found a unique way to suffer, Brian, healthy of body is suffering dark dreams and hallucinations, for Aminatu this place is foreign, the sea frightening and after her deserts she cannot comprehend the fact that the earth is 70% ocean – she is even looking forward to the calmness of ice.