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I can get boiling water to make tea or fill my water bottle with cold drinking water at any time. The ship has its own water distilling equipment, which means it can make fresh water while we are underway! This makes it possible to take fresh water showers, do laundry, brew coffee, and generally stay hydrated.

What was the best meal this week?:

The S.A. Agulhas II galley (kitchen) crew works very hard to feed almost 100 people three meals every day, all while rocking back and forth with the motion of the sea. Everything has been delicious so far, but my favorite was a lamb curry with butternut squash soup that we had for lunch one day. Our days aboard the ship revolve around set meal times. We are divided into two “shifts” to allow for better social distancing. I eat breakfast from 8:00-8:30 a.m., lunch from 12:00-12:30 p.m., and dinner from 7:00-7:30 p.m. Every meal includes a great, brief conversation with some other member of the expedition team. It is the perfect way to meet many different people and learn about their work aboard the ship. For breakfast, I may sit with a helicopter pilot. For lunch, it could be a scientist from the German Space Agency. And for dinner, who knows… maybe a marine archeologist or marine robotics engineer? I sometimes don’t eat fast enough because I’m too amazed by the stories of my tablemate.

What music did I listen to this week?:

Just before I came aboard the ship, I learned about a composer named Paul Frith who had written an entire symphony inspired by Sir Ernest Shackleton’s Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition. He was kind enough to share some recordings with me, so while I work at my desk in my cabin, I play his symphony in the background.