Thursday, 5 June 2014

Recreation at Sea

Playing cricket on the back deck of the RRS James Cook.  Darren, Eleanor, Nick, and Lola (and a few more outfielders).  Photo by Ben Moat.

This post is a bit overdue, since we're now all back on land.  However, it fits well with the "life at sea" portion of the blog.  [ pics to be added shortly! ]

When we are at sea for 6 weeks, we typically work longer hours than on land.  For certain types of cruises (e.g. hydrographic sections), the science work is going on 24-hours a day.  Since this cruise was a moorings cruise, we would have more intense working days, followed by passage days where data processing and analysis continued in the lab, but less time was spent on deck or making measurements.  We are permitted to work no longer than 12 hour days, 7 days a week.

Paul, Dave, Chris, Steve and Martin, on the  bow.

6 weeks is a rather long time to be spent with the 22 crew, 7 scientists and 7 technicians.  Fortunately, British ships are reasonably well-equipped for recreation.  The RRS James Cook has a bar, a lounge, a video room and a library, all on the level above the main lab.   On the lower accommodation level, there is also a gym with treadmill, rowing machine, reclining bike, weights and a sauna.  The bow is a comfortable spot for a bit of sun or to watch the sunset or stars.  And a popular area for tea is outside the coffee shop, on the starboard side, just aft of the main lab, where a few extra chairs have been placed.

David, Neela and Lola playing dominos.

The bar is stocked with the daily allotment of wine and beer.  Folks are allowed to purchase a certain number of units per day, when off-duty.  There are also a variety of games to be played: dominos, scrabble, Trivial Pursuit and a popular sea farers card game: cribbage.  One night during the cruise we had a pub quiz, organised by Carl.  Another night was the RPC "request the pleasure of the company", where David Smeed as chief scientist, paid for the beers and invited everyone along.

The Twister board, made out of an old sheet.  The "dice" didn't work very well, so we ended up with a different solution.  Photo by Lola.

On Lola's birthday, we made a Twister board out of an old sheet.  The spinner was a piece of cardboard, with a beer bottle in the middle.  For some more active entertainment, Nick made a cricket bat, and Lola and I spent a while making some balls out of rags and duct tape (gaffer tape).  20 balls made for about an hour and a bit of fun on the ship.  So while there is lots to be done, there are also plenty of options for evening entertainment, or spots of free time between the more intensive moorings days.

The gym on the Cook.  Photo by Lola.

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