We had an absolutely packed schedule in Jamaica, filled with outreach onboard Lehmkuhl and onshore, visits to the University of the West Indies Mona campus and marine research lab, and some exploration of the local cuisine thanks to our two new friends and colleagues, sea level scientist Deron Maitland and marine biologist Chauntelle Parkins, who joined the One Ocean course from UWI.
The second leg of the sailing expedition was marked with even more rope splicing as we finally reached our maximum rope length of over 1000m! The long-awaited day of this experiment coincided with another long-awaited event: swimming! As we “heaved to” (stopped the ship) for the ocean temperature measurements, the trainees and crew all enjoyed a couple of hours in the royal blue waters of the Caribbean Sea.
Just as we were wrapping up our experiments, the beautiful blue skies turned as we finally got some “interesting weather” as Prof. Spengler would say and we were doused in some refreshing rain. It was thus only fitting that we receive some meteorology lectures to understand the strange system we were sailing through. Other valuable discussions around climate action and EDI (equity-diversity-inclusion) were led by female professors and crew members who shared with us their experiences as women in male dominated fields. The grand finale to our last leg were the singing practices which led into our loud arrival in the Havana port: some of us were shouting from above the sails and some of us were on deck chanting as many sea shanties as we could.
It was hard to say goodbye to all our newfound friends and colleagues in the end but we feel certain we will meet again and hopefully continue collaborating. We have learned that science is enriched by a diversity of backgrounds and that even though some projects may seem daunting, they are worthwhile and most likely to help us grow professionally and personally.
-Jeremy and Julia