The seas are calms (1.3-1.8m), and science is continuing. The weather has been kind for almost a week now. We complete our seismic survey along the northern Hikurang. We have an estimated 3 days left of heat flow transects before you head south for the remainder of the cruise. Most of us have finally settled into shifts and watch partners. While I am on 12pm-12am every day, my watch is 6pm-12am. My watch partner is Dylan Baker, a graduate student from the University of Otago. Between measurements we typical have 45 minutes to 1-hour of down time. Last night, to pass the time we decided to play scrabble. Little did we know how much fun this would be.
We began by making up a few new rules: (1) if you can play a geology word you get double points, and (2) if you come up with a marine mammal word play was suspended for 30-minutes. The second rule was born out of international regulations for seismic surveys, where if a marine mammal (whale, dolphins, seals, etc.) are sighted within 600m of the boat the air guns must be shut down IMMEDIATELY, and the survey is suspended for a particular amount of time to insure the mammals have left the area. This can cause significant delays in science.
The game took up most of our shift. Early in the game I had the word “diorite,” but should not play it anywhere. I was able to play “aa” late in the game (for very few extra points). Other words that were played on our scrabble board included: tit, dank, nude, sea, warm, sheet (all of which can be interpreted several ways). Needless to say, we had a productive science shift and a hilarious game of scrabble. If our game tonight is anywhere near as entertaining this evening pictures will be posted.