My heart still skips a beat in excitement every time I arrive at it. Grateful to have a calm morning of reflection by the Caribbean Sea in Curaçao before 3 weeks on the ship. I arrived last night and Jeremy and Julia are on their way, due in this evening. Today we will all get additional PCR and antigen tests to board the boat and meet the requirements to enter our next stop in Jamaica. Exciting to see our boat awaiting us in the harbour.
Packing and prepping for this journey, especially during a global pandemic, has been no small feat! Imagining three weeks as a sailing scientist on a tall ship in the tropics is already a lot to take in from the crisp fall weather in Montreal, even without considering the pandemic. We need to make sure we have the right gear for staying comfortable working on deck most of the day and sleeping in hammocks side-by-side at night, the equipment to conduct our research and take oceanographic measurements on board, and the right paperwork to cross borders and board. With no wifi or cell service on board, we will be bringing all our course content and outreach and research project materials with us. There have also been many extra, much-needed covid-19 safety protocols to consider, and given this will be our first big journey since March 2020, we are all feeling a bit out of practice on travel.
But despite all that, and with the urgent need for climate action as motivation, we are now all packed and ready to go!
For me - especially in the midst of COP26 and with the weight of travel on our shoulders during both global climate and health crises - the responsibility to make the most of this unique opportunity that brings together international perspectives, interdisciplinary expertise and a life-changing learning environment to have a lasting impact on the future of our planet is at the forefront of my mind.
During the month of November I along with two graduate students from McGill, Jeremy Roffman and Julia Morales, will make our way to the Caribbean to join an international group of students, instructors and sailors for a Climate Action, Ocean and UN Sustainable Development Goals themed field course aboard the One Ocean Expedition (Check out their web page here and follow along with us on Facebook, Instagram, and Youtube). After meeting online since September for weekly seminars and to develop ocean research and outreach projects, we will be obarding the Norwegian tall ship Statsraad Lehmkuhl in Curaçao for 20 days at sea with stops in Jamaica and Cuba. The course is hosted by the research school CHESS and the PhD summer school ACDC.
Although there is no wifi on board, we will be posting updates as regularly as we can here so you can follow along with our travels.
This is an exciting opportunity, I can't wait!
Dave Purnell and Isabelle McIntyre are headed to Greenland Summer 2022 to service and collect data from our instruments. Follow their travels here.