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Latitude: 38° 13'N
Longitude: 60° 29'W
Wind Direction: WNW
Wind Speed: 12 Knots
Sea State: 2
Sea Temperature: 77°F (25°C)
Swell(s) Height: 4 Foot
Barometric Pressure: 1020.5 MB
Cream of chicken and rice soup
Ham and cheese sandwiches
Chicken/rosemary ravioli in marinara sauce
Chocolate cream pie
Grilled lamb chops
Broiled halibut filet with remoulade sauce
Basil pesto couscous
Herbed focaccia with roasted garlic
Mixed berry shortcake
Once in a lifetime
June 15, 2003
By Joe Appel
Almost everyone aboard RV Atlantis has
been here before. Not necessarily on this ship, or in this part
of the planet’s oceans, but they’ve been at sea for
an extended period of time. Crew members have made their living
here for years. The oceanographers regularly leave their laboratories
and venture into the world to find the samples that are the heart
of their research. Not only have they done this before, they’ll
probably do it again.
It’s different for me. Like the Dive and Discover photographer, Ian Yurdin,
my job doesn’t directly relate to marine life or marine research. I’ve
been extremely lucky to come along on Expedition 7; as a writer with other obligations
and other interests, chances are mine has been a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
I don’t think anyone out here takes the
ocean experience for granted. But in less than 24 hours I will
be saying goodbye to this life in a more permanent way than others
will. Some things, for sure, I’m happy to leave. I won’t
miss that first week of seasickness. Or the rough-weather days
when the decks are secured and I’ve played one too many
games of foosball.
But those are trivial. They can’t compare to talking with my friend Ian
at 2 a.m. under a sky so starry it seemed like there was more white in the sky
than dark. Or standing on the bow with salt spray coming off 14-foot swells.
Or watching a perfect orange ball of a sun fall past the western horizon at the
end of the day, along with 25 others who had dropped their work to share the
experience. Or dropping 1400 meters beneath the ocean surface in a submarine
(more on that in tomorrow’s update).
The funny thing is, most of these experiences are ones we all know; we’ve
all seen sunsets and spoken with friends under starry skies. Out here, though,
common experiences become uncommon. The different-ness of sea life makes even
everyday events feel different.
I won’t be back out to sea for a very long time, if ever. That’s
a big part of what has made it so special.
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