Thursday, January 29, 2009

smelly laundry, pingpong, and the NBP triathlon

We're approaching the midway point of this cruise, and though the
focus will shift to other projects in the next few weeks, life has
settled into a quasi-regular rhythm. Up at 11 am or so, lunch for
breakfast, monitor CTD's, run oxygen samples every other day or so,
transition shifts around midnight, then to the gym, sauna, or just
goof around until bedtime. Tonight, I'm running some oxygen samples
while waiting for my laundry upstairs to complete. It's a big
decision whether to do laundry or not and you have to time it because
the ship's water supply is derived from the seawater (via reverse
osmosis) in which the ship is traveling. That means that, not unlike
water at home (but maybe more so), what's living is the water affects
its taste and smell. Up until now I was clueless about the rhyme or
reason behind smelly laundry (and toothbrushing water), but have been
illuminated by the biological oceanographers aboard that this is due
to Phaeocystis, a slime forming and smell-producing algae that blooms
here. I think I timed my laundry poorly today and have potentially
more smelly clothes -- and sheets! -- than I did beforehand. We'll
see -- I'm trying to cover it up with dryer sheets right now. Next
time I'll wait till the diatoms are blooming.

The pingpong season has also started in earnest. We play on a
slightly smaller than regulation piece of wood held up by to
sawhorses in the noisy and probably dangerous cargo hold on a rocking
ship. It's fun, I promise. On a previous cruise one of my fellow
crew managed to develop a double elimination pingpong championship
where you played doubles with a new partner each time. This time, he
and another mastermind have devised a triathlon -- pingpong,
foosball, and pool. Not sure about a lot of details or how pool on a
ship works (is it simple a game of chance?) but I will keep you
updated as these things develop. My chances of winning have
diminished greatly with the addition of foosball.



  1. wishing you luck on the foosball!
    we've been blog lurkers so far--so exciting to read about all of your fun adventures.
    mc and nate

  2. Can you add baking soda to the wash to help? I found it helped quite a bit.