This is our fifth day at sea. The weather is still cool and foggy, but the winds have dropped to almost nothing. Because high winds lead to high seas, we are often most interested in the wind forecast and not so much in the temperature or rain forecasts. Tomorrow we might be near the edge of a low pressure system that will pass from Greenland to Iceland, but conditions are not expected to be too rough.
Mooring deployments are proceeding on schedule. Right now we are at the site we call IC3, where our Dutch colleagues are putting in a current meter and microcat mooring. Like most of the moorings being deployed on this cruise, the instruments attached to IC3 will measure temperature, salinity and the speed and direction of currents from near the sea surface to the sea floor.
Life on board the R/V Knorr is pretty comfortable. The galley department is putting out some fantastic meals like grilled halibut, scallops, beef brisket and roasted duck, with plenty of vegetables and salads for sides. And then there are the scrumptious desserts, like homemade brownies and vanilla ice cream for lunch today. Meals are served three times a day cafeteria-style. Hot dishes are served up on a plate at the galley window. Then one fetches silverware, a napkin and a drink and finds a seat at one of the several tables. There are rotating seats at each table that are fixed to the floor (called a deck on a ship) so they can’t slide around. When it is at all rough, the galley crew put down sticky mats on the tables so plates don’t go a-sliding onto the floor. The table has a small lip around the edge to help prevent the same thing.
While the food is fantabulous, the eating experience is something I sort of dread. I hate it when people serve me my food when everyone else is serving themselves. But navigating the galley area with my cane while desperately gripping my plate and trying to figure out which seats are open, all on a rolling ship, is pretty challenging. I have learned to put the silverware in my pocket, and put my plate down before getting my drink. That helps. But sometimes, my table-mates finish before me and excuse themselves, leaving me to eat alone. Others in that situation would for example, take their dessert and join another table for more conversation, but the idea of having to “re-locate” keeps me in my original seat. Sometimes someone else will come and join my table. But this situation, although not terrible, is one of those annoying consequences of being visually impaired. Right up there with the dreaded buffet—a blind person’s nightmare! I suppose one up-side is that I might eat a little less food, which might actually be a good thing.