Life at sea aboard a research vessel

Laura and Kara on deck awaiting the rosette at 0400 during our 'round the clock sampling

Living aboard a working research vessel like the R/V Knorr is very different from being on a cruise liner or even a small pleasure craft.  While 21 days at sea may seem to be a long time, we must work constantly around the clock to accomplish our goals of finding and collecting enough good water and sediment samples to bring home with us to study Amazon climate.  This means that there are always scientists up in the middle of the night either coring sediments, filtering water samples or looking at seismic data to find new sampling sites for the days ahead.  Sometimes we will work all night long and sleep during the day, or vise versa.

This is the main science lab, where we have science meetings, work on our computers, and analyze core sections for magnetic susceptibility

Most of our work is done either out on deck or in the main laboratory.  Sediment cores are brought up on deck where they are capped and brought into the main laboratory to be labeled.  Small samples are stored in freezers in the main laboratory while large cores are held in a large walk in freezer on the ships deck.

Claudia takes a turn showing off her skills on the Hula Hoop

Laura gets some work done out on deck

Although we are working long days, there is always time for some fun and relaxing on the ship!  The ships crew and scientists all enjoy watching evening sunsets after diner, playing cards, sunbathing and even hula hooping!  The R/V Knorr also has a great library of books, movies and even an entertainment room with a flat screen TV!  There is even a small gym aboard that includes two tread mills, a stationary bike, elliptical machine and some weights.

Claudia and Kara catch up on some reading on the "steal beach" during transit

Of course, one of the best parts about being on a scientific research cruise is the food!  The galley is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner everyday day, serving a wide variety of delicious meals like homemade granola, fresh fruit salad, lamb chops, eggplant casserole, and sesame encrusted sea scallops just to name a few.  For those who work late night shifts, meals are set aside and snacks/desserts are left out for anyone who wants a midnight snack!

Dale entertains us in the science lab with his ukulele during a survey

After a long day (or night) of work, we are always happy to return to our staterooms for some rest.  Most scientist stay in rooms with 2 bunks and a bathroom that is shared by an adjoining room. Staterooms are generally very simple, but have plenty of room to store all of our personal gear and belongings.  Sheets, blankets and towels are all provided by the ship and laundry facilities are available for everyone to use.

The science crew takes a view of the water from the top deck

Today marks the start of our last week on the R/V Knorr.  So far, we have deployed and collected over 50 sediment cores and water casts combined!  While we are excited to return back to USF to begin analyzing all of our data, we’ll miss the fun and excitement of living and working aboard the Knorr.

The scientists and crew enjoy dinner in the mess


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