While the adventures of being at sea are coming to a close, the experiences will be kept for as long as one can hold on to the memories. This trip was a first for some and a repeat for others, but we all miss home in similar ways whether it’s our friends and family, a great pizza, a green salad, or a refreshing stroll through the wilderness.
Me (Lindsay): How was the trip different than your expectations?
Justin: I actually expected the trip to be more boring than it was. I had a picture in my mind of having to wait around for days at a time trying to invent things to stay busy. As it turned out, there has been plenty to do and I have never really been bored. I’m very pleased it turned out like that.
Me: What is one of the more enjoyable aspects you have experienced?
Alexis: Getting to see first-hand the extent of the research capabilities of the Langseth. Also it’s been great to work with the science crew onboard- they have all been really helpful in explaining the details involved in the configuration of sources and receivers, deployment of the streamer, and acquisition of data. Being a part of this process has made me really appreciate all of the work that goes into data collection.
Akhil: One of the more enjoyable aspects was the fact that I got hands on experience with every aspect of the project. Everything from helping put the birds on the streamer to helping fix the birds after the acquisition was a lot of fun.
Me: It couldn’t have all been rainbows and butterflies? What wasn’t as enjoyable as the rest of the trip?
Clint: The first couple weeks of sea-sickness.
Me: Have you learned anything on this trip that you’d like to share with others?
Alexis: I definitely learned a lot on this trip! It was great to get experience with data processing, which was the big thing I was looking forward to learning on this cruise. Also, I really took a lot out of the first week of lectures and enjoyed learning about the other watchstanders’ research during our student presentations.
Clint: There are shorter cruises available, you don’t have to spend two months your first time at sea.
Me: What would you say to the next person stepping into your shoes?
Clint: Umm, excuse me, those are my shoes.
John: I would say to make sure they take every opportunity to do stuff like this that you can. The total immersion experience is a great way to really learn about geophysics.
Justin: If I was to recommend something to the next person getting ready for their first cruise, I would suggest bringing a lot of music. I was so used to internet music, you know like Pandora and Spotify, that I didn’t bring nearly enough to listen too.
Me: What will you miss about being out to sea?
Clint: Not having to deal with real-life problems. The ocean. Free food prepared for me.
John: Being able to go outside and see the horizon in every direction. Also, the sunsets and ocean breeze.
Justin: I will miss the sunrises and sunsets.
Alexis: The weather! It was nice to skip winter back home. I’ll also miss being around people who have worked in this field for so long- it was great to hear their experiences working on other academic and industry vessels.
Me: Would you want to do this again?
Akhil: Yes, I would absolutely do this again. I have learned so much on this trip that I would not have learned in a class setting.
John: Of course. I already can’t wait to get back out to sea. It’s great to get the hands on experience and see how the data we use is actually collected.
Alexis: Absolutely! I’d love to get more experience acquiring data at sea. I think one of the really valuable things about getting this type of field experience is learning about the troubleshooting and decision making that happens when things go wrong, and how everything ultimately affects the data.
Overall, this has been a great experience for us students. We are grateful for the opportunity to expand our knowledge and background in our areas of study. I particularly feel that I have gained a priceless experience by participating in research so that I can be a better high school Earth Science teacher. Not many students get the chance to partake in these expeditions so we are very fortunate.
I can’t wait to get home to my cute puppy!