Ice Stories
Exploratorium Home

On Seasickness & Science, Part 2

ABOARD THE JOIDES RESOLUTION, ON THE BERING SEA– I suppose I promised some seasickness in the title. Well here it comes. When I said “a little more motion” in my last blog, I meant a lot more motion. Rumor has it that the wind was up to ~40 knots at times, and we were hitting swells near 20 feet. My personal experience out on the open ocean is primarily limited to, let’s say conservatively… the last few weeks.

There were of course many on board who said things like “this is nothing” and “you haven’t seen anything yet.” But I preferred to remain quiet, lest I anger the sea gods and incur their wrath. It wasn’t long before the line to the doctor’s office was forming. He was handed out meds to those with the pale look and bleary eyes. I did not make fun or mock those less fortunate, and count myself lucky to have escaped the sickness to this day.

Some of my companions braved the wind outside in true exploratory science fashion. They wanted to watch the waves and spray break upon the ship. You can watch some of the fun in this video. Ultimately their scientific inquiry yielded the qualitative data that the water out here is in fact cold.

I was a party to some gravity defying fun such as “jumping when there are negative G’s”. It was very reminiscent of jumping on an elevator, if you’ve ever had the pleasure of attempting such a thing. Hmmm… that makes me think about jumping in the freight elevator on ship during rough seas. Okay, maybe that’s a bad idea. You’d probably end up with your head hitting the ceiling. Do not try this at home!

We even recording the difficultly of walking down the long corridor on the forecastle deck. It was quite the challenge to just manage the20 or so feet of straight walking without bracing yourself on the handholds available on most walls. Sadly most of that video was shot with the camera stationary relative to the boat, so it only looks like we are doing a bad impersonation of early Star Trek Klingon attack footage.

Luckily later in the afternoon on the 22nd the seas had calmed quite a bit and we are currently experiencing almost no noticeable rocking in the ship. It was an interesting time, and a nice break after several days of coring. Now we are in for our longest stretch of coring and processing as the three Bowers Ridge drill sites are so close together, no transit is expected to last more than a few hours. I for one will be glad to have things continue to be calm.

Tags: ,

Comments are closed.