Greetings from the R/V Roger Revelle! I’m Will Stewart, a first-year PhD student at Bangor University on this ship as a part of the QUICCHE team. Unlike most others on the team, my usual research concerns the Arctic, so I don’t have as defined a role as many other people; instead, I help out where I can, especially with the Vertical Microstructure Profiler (VMP) and microplastic sampling taken from the CTD casts. It’s certainly been a fascinating experience, getting to know all of the instruments on board the ship, including several that I’d only ever heard of before, and getting first-hand experience in deploying and retrieving most of them!
As most of my colleagues have already written extensively about the science, however, I’m going to be taking a quick break from it to give you some insight into life on board the ship. It might sound a little cliché, but there really is nothing quite like the experience of being on a ship like this; you really get to know all of the people on your team, working around them during your shifts every day and spending a lot of your down time around them too. When games like the Assassin game that was mentioned earlier start, you also get to see which of the people you’re working with are the most devious! Aside from your team, you also get to know the crew of the ship, which has been amazing since all of the crew have been really helpful and friendly, especially during the (numerous!!) days of bad weather we’ve been having.
You also get to see some really incredible sights – not only can you try looking for whales, fish, squid and other marine life, the sunsets and sunrises over the water are stunning. Even when you’re working on deck it can often be really difficult not to stop and appreciate the scenery sometimes. I’ll leave you with this picture of the ocean during a sunset that I snapped on our first night out of port, which I think is indicative of what a truly beautiful place the ocean can be!