by Jenny Nakai:
Well, are at sea. We sailed up past Cook Strait, with notoriously choppy waters, and are now sailing up the East side of the North Island. We are staying close enough to land to see it, and we have started the actual work of the cruise, deploying a Lamont seismometer and pressure gauge and a Texas pressure gauge in the ocean.
I am always curious about how I will respond to new situations, so I didn’t take any motion sickness medication the first night. There are many different types: Dramamine, patches, and pills, and they all have different side effects. I was sick after dinner the first night, and pressure point motion sickness bracelets didn’t help, so I took Dramamine. Yesterday morning I used a patch that goes behind your ear and slowly releases medication. It makes me really drowsy and I feel completely not normal. It is very hard to eat anything solid. It reminds me of the time I had salmonella typhoid, except without the glucose IV fluid.
A lot of people tell me they have trouble concentrating at sea, and I certainly agree. It is like you are in a giant bathtub just sloshing around, and your brain is trying to deal with all the sloshing, and things take longer to do.
This is my second full day at sea, and I must admit I feel a little better. I’ve heard of a lot of tricks for seasickness: staring at a motionless point on the horizon (or the horizon), eating very basic foods, nothing fancy, and going outside for fresh air.
My roommate actually went to the gym yesterday, which is really impressive. Running on a treadmill is pretty interesting I’m sure when you are rocking back and forth. I am very impressed with Justin, my labmate, who not only is unmedicated and not seasick, but just enjoys the heck out himself here. If there is anyone cut out to be a marine geophysicist, it’s that guy.
The boat itself is pretty interesting, the RV Tangaroa. It has been to Antarctica, although it cannot break ice, it can only move it out of the way. One of the co-chief scientists was out on a cruise to Antarctica for 52 (!) days to do active source seismic work to map the stratigraphy off the coast. He said the days just blended together.
The food is good, I’ll post some pictures later. Apparently on long voyages, the cooks run out of fresh fruit and veggies, so you get loaded with them at the beginning.