I’m doing my best to adjust to this new environment, which can be harsh on the human body. Learning how to keep your balance and developing those “sailor legs” to help you walk is definitely necessary. I admire all past and present explorers for their strength and determination to get to know the sea. After being on this vessel for a few days my fear for the ocean is gone. Its size is humbling, its motion is mysterious, and there is no other way to feel but being part of it.
Living in the R/V (Research Vessel) Melville is very interesting. You have to find your way through its different levels, which can feel like a maze with many doors. The main level or first platform is where the galley or kitchen is located. This is great to know because if you miss a meal you can always come back for snacks like ice cream and fruit.
This main level is also the site for the main lab where scientists are often studying digital maps and data, or holding meetings. A level above the main deck is called O1 level where the library is located. There are the O2 and O3 levels, as well as the bridge, which is the control center where the captain and first and second mates make sure we travel safely by avoiding shallow areas and other moving vessels.
My room is located below the main deck, which is called the second platform. It is a spacious room with bunk beds, a sink, and enough drawers to put our belongings. Our restroom has several bars you can use to hold on to while you shower which I am very grateful for! When I sleep it feels like a waterbed gone wild. It often moves side to side and my reflexes wake me up from time to time to try to prevent me from falling off the bed.
But those are the adjustments that my body has to make in the next few days to feel completely at ease, I am so happy to share this experience with so many knowledgeable human beings. Everyone on board is very friendly and so welcoming. After all, many on board still remember their first rough days at sea.