Short Musings of an Experience at Sea

Hey everyone, this is Jonás Cervantes

It’s day 5 of the R/V Atlantis cruise. Honestly, it feels like we’ve been out at sea for a little over a week, but at the same time it feels like we’ve barely left Astoria (Oregon).

The days just seem to slide into each other, not bothering telling you their names, nor their hours. All there is the work, the research and the seismometer recoveries. Each melding into the other, like some sort of sweet smelling, salty tasting stew.

I’ve been working on the educational outreach aspect of our mission. This means that I work on the video systems, multimedia presentations and the multi cast/live streams from the JASON. The last one is particularly fun, mainly because I get to see what lives at the bottom of the Pacific from a semi first person perspective. It’s also fun seeing a room full of physical science and engineering majors/professionals try to name the various animals that they see without having any particular background in biology. Futility has its entertainment values in specific conditions, I suppose.

The weather in the open sea has been amazing, I must admit. When I first set out, I had this image in my head where we’d be battling 40 foot swells and fighting the elements everyday. The first few days of sea sickness cured me of this fantasy.

Every morning after that has been more beautiful than the last. Calm seas so smooth that they look like the most reflective polymers; The sun so bright that its light seems to caress every cell in your body, like the beams were crafted just for you; The clouds so distantly soft that you almost want to pluck them from the sky and use them as a pillow; The wind so sweet that you can almost hear the songs that you want it to sing.

Sometimes I look at the water from the side of the Atlantis, and I have to resist every urge to jump into the water. The water laps at the hull of the vessel, every gentle touch acting like a siren’s song. If I were to jump in, I’m pretty sure that would be the end of the mission for me.

Overall, I’m appreciative of the experience. I’ve learned much about how research is conducted in the field, and it’s nice getting to know other people who have similar academic interests as mine. I’d recommend it for anyone interested.

Until next time

Jonás N Cervantes

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