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Life aboard the Point Sur

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Life aboard the Point Sur has been welcomed as well as an open challenge.  Before coming aboard, I really didn’t know what to expect.  The night before leaving Miami I went to dinner with my family at our Tuesday night hangout spot, Sports Grill.  My mother jokingly asked if I was going to eat a good meal that night since the food on the ship will probably consist of bologna sandwiches and bottled water. Boy was she wrong!  To the contrary, the food has been impeccable and life aboard is definitely not as grueling as I imagined.

Surf and Turf  done right! BBQ pork belly with tuna!


One week into my journey I have learned much about life at sea, especially aboard the Point Sur.  Things are very busy on the Point Sur and sleep is a high commodity.  Teams work around the clock to ensure that their research goals are met.  At any given time, you can see people moving about the ship, but at the same time you must also keep in mind that other people are in their bunks sleeping.  Personally, I have found it easier to sleep between my morning and afternoon shift.  For some reason sleeping between the night and morning shift does not suit my body well. 



The crew and scientists on board have been nothing short of entertaining!  Everyone is very easy going, probably because we all realize we have to live together for 2 weeks in such tight quarters.  We all seem to use sarcasm as a way to diffuse possible tension caused by the lack of sleep that one might encounter; therefore, jokes in the lab are a must!  Dr. Sutton is usually the person who breaks the awkward silence that fills the lab during the start of the 3am lab shift by making a silly reference to something hilarious that quickly energizes the morning crew. He is like our “cup of coffee”. 

Dr. Sutton sporting a smile and all that DEEPEND swag!


After the morning lab work is done, many of us stay up to continue the paperwork that is required by all research missions and others take the time to get sleep.  After the evening lab shift we usually gather around the television to watch the Rio Olympics!  The Olympics have become a focal point of discussions and you will hear the occasional cheer when the United States wins a medal, but that is quickly followed by someone in the group saying, “shhhh, people are sleeping”. 

The galley is the spot to be!



After dinner is dessert which may consist of several options, including the infamous Ice Cream Freezer.  This freezer’s sole purpose is dedicated to housing all the sorted ice cream you can think of. The freezer lid even has a sense of levity and encourages you to eat some!  I am sure my daughter and niece will love to have one of these at their grandparent’s house! 

Ice cream humor!



For tonight’s dessert we were in for a treat as the grill was still hot from the steak dinner.  Chef Alex quickly took out some graham crackers, Hershey’s chocolate, and marshmellows for a s’mores delight!  We had a great time on the boat’s deck grilling our dessert and then laughing at each other for the chocolate and marshmallow leftovers on our faces.



After s’mores we celebrated Ben’s (Bio-acoustics) birthday with a song and cake!

 Happy Birthday Ben!

With no morning MOCNESS trawl, we will be gearing up for some night fishing!  If I land that 1,000lbs sailfish I will definitely update this blog and post some pictures!





Chris Valdes, Teacher at Sea

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  • Guest
    Tammy Sunday, 14 August 2016

    It looks like a 5 star chief on board. Boy was I wrong about the meals I thought you would be eating. I think the girls would just LOVE it If I got and iceceam freezer, but the iceceam lady would go out of business. Continue to learn all you can and stay safe and most importantly have fun.

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