At Sea, Part 2: The #1 rule

Apr 19 2012 Published by under Uncategorized

The #1 rule for being at sea is pretty simple:

 

If you don't want it to break or hit you in the head, tie it down.

 

As I've said before, being out at sea is sort of like experiencing  a two-week long earthquake.  And you plan accordingly.  (For those of you who have experienced actual earthquakes before, I should say that it's like two weeks of s-waves, no p-waves at all.)

 

The ship is built for it:  drawers in the staterooms all have secure latches, the armchairs in the staterooms are strapped to the wall, and the doors all have magnetic catches to keep them from swinging back and forth if you don't close them properly.

 

In the science lab, everything large gets strapped down.  Everything.

Bring lots of ratchet straps with you when you go to sea.

Even the fridge is strapped down and the door bungeed shut.

 

Of course, not everything is big enough to secure with a ratchet strap.  But there are other ways of holding those things down.

 

Duct tape is your friend.

 

Trying to do science while everything is rocking back and forth makes for an interesting ride.

2 responses so far

  • I'm assuming glass is kept to a minimum and only used when necessitated in the ship's laboratory?

    • unlikelygrad says:

      Pretty much.

      A ship, as you guessed, is a bad place to have glass. Not just because stuff keeps falling off the work area, but because the decks are steel. (My poor iPhone can testify to the badness of this combination. Thankfully it's still usable.)

      Danny Boy and others on board did have to store samples in glass. The key is to keep glass vials in test-tube racks for processing, then package in boxes with dividers until you can get them back on land.

      Otherwise almost everything we bring is Nalgene--volumetrics, graduated cylinders, bottles (we use wide-mouth bottles instead of beakers), etc.