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Monday, July 22, 2019

Free time on the high seas?!

A research cruise isn’t just spending 24/7 collecting, monitoring, and processing data... 

By Michelle Lee

Because of our rotating shifts, everyone also can enjoy some leisure and down time. Besides research, what is there even to do on a research vessel in the middle of the ocean?

One of the main leisure time activities that seems popular amongst everyone is reading. Many of us brought books with us onto the vessel to read during down time but on board there is also a library stocked with books ranging from seismic textbooks to the entirety of the Twilight series (I haven’t seen these since middle school, a good 10 years ago!) If you don’t want to physically flip the pages of a book, you can also opt to listen to an audiobook. Located right next to the library is the theater room. Amongst one of the hard drives in the room is a folder containing all the audiobooks you could possibly think of! Just head into the theater room with a USB, plug it in, and you can download the audiobook you want.

While talking about the theater room, we can’t leave out movie time! Within the theater are multiple hard drives containing hundreds of movies (and music!!!). Any movie you can think of is likely located within one of those hard drives from documentaries about the Great Barrier Reef to the latest Avengers movies. You can choose to enjoy a movie in the theater set up with rows of seats and a large TV screen or to download the movie of your choice to view on your laptop in the comfort of your room.

If you don’t find us during our leisure time reading or watching a movie, you might be able to find one of us on the top deck of the ship, in the gym. Equipped with various machines and equipment such as a treadmill, elliptical, yoga mat, and weights, you might see us exercising off the extra calories we consumed by taking the last slice of cheesecake drizzled with chocolate or the extra scoop of ice cream on top of the freshly baked pies.

The board games can get real serious!

We can’t talk about leisure time without games, from board games to card games, with two people or the whole science team. Occasionally you will find us gathered around the long table at the corner of the main lab playing Ticket to Ride, Codenames, or some card games. We’ve also gotten into a new game introduced to us by Victoire called the Werewolf game (she handmade all the cards for the game herself, so that we can play! Thanks Victoire!). This game, a very similar game to Mafia, got the whole science team turning our backs against one another when it comes time to vote for who we believe were the werewolves killing off the innocent villagers at night. 

Axelle and Tanner get in some practice before 'The Big Game'

Of course, we can’t go on without mentioning the ping pong tournament that is about to start! With the pongvision set up in the main lab to watch the game, we are about to start the journey to find the best ping pong player aboard the Langseth!

Ship gear gives you attitude... and balloons. Tanner, Morgane and Michelle show us how it's done...
With Sam and his camera, you might also find us in the midst of doing photoshoots with our newest Langseth gear amongst the monitors or leftover balloons from Morgane’s 21st extravaganza in the main lab. You can also locate us in the mess munching away at the snacks available at any hour of the day or just up and about the vessel intaking the views from outside (on a nice day of course) or chatting with others about whatever comes to mind.

At the end of the day, after listing all these fun leisure activities to do during down time, we can’t leave off the most important activity of all, nap time. Sometimes all we really need after hours of standing watch or processing data is some quiet time in our bunks beneath the comfort of our blankets dreaming about ourselves guessing the correct number of eggs on board the ship or the number of shots we complete within a 24-hour window and ultimately winning the surprise prize for most points earned with the “question of the day”. 

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