Here’s how you know you’re on a ship:
All the computers are tied down. I don’t think we’ve actually had any boat movement that would be dramatic enough to slide a laptop off a table, but I’m glad they’re tied down anyway. This is one of the public laptops with internet. Instruments in the lab are tied down, too. Also, a lot of work surfaces have some kind of sticky, rubbery mesh material stretched over them and stapled down, so you can set things down and be pretty sure they won’t slide away.
I was worried about seasickness before I came on board, but here’s the result: I never had any. Well, I never got nauseous. For one thing, the ship just didn’t move that much. In the ice, it mostly kind of bounces around – not the steady movement that makes you sick – and we were in the ice for the vast majority of the trip. When we did get into open water with some swells, all it did was make me a bit sleepy. We’re back in open water now, but the big, scary, stormy Bering Sea is doing its best impression of a pond.
I did get land-sick early in the trip – I’d feel dizzy when we stopped all day at the ice. I’m kind of dreading being really back on land. A science writer friend of mine who used to be an oceanographer told me he was always land-sick for three times as long as he was on the boat, which would put me into early August. Yikes. Let’s hope I’m not like him. (Well, other than his wild success as a freelancer.)