I remember how I felt at the beginning of this leg of the expedition. I had no idea of what to expect. I had never been on a ship or to a country that did not speak English as its primary language. I somehow landed on Nautilus as an Educator at Sea after navigating through customs and a crazy taxi ride with Danielle, the video intern. I survived conversations with a rug salesmen in Marmaris and a flower saleswomen in Istanbul. This has to be a dream in my head.
I can now find my way easily around the ship, I know which buttons to push for my live shows, and I have drastically improved my knowledge and ability to transmit the science and operations of our dives with Hercules and Argus. Even though I still cannot say "Eratosthenes", I can do laundry without fear and only wake 1 of my roommates at a time instead of all of them as I fumble around in the dark. I fell in love with the Athina mud volcano, my team, and the oatmeal that surpasses all oatmeal in the universe. I can actually take the Aeronet measurements in less than 5 minutes and have been able to explain things to the new Educators at Sea. Ice cream, watermelon, and anything chocolate gets me just as overjoyed as it does every other person on the ship.
Now, at the end of my 2.5 weeks, I cannot imagine this part of my life not occurring. There is something about being surrounded by water and working at odd hours….or at all hours…that distorts time and space. Every day is like several days because of strange naps caught during brief times of body-enforced inactivity. Yet, somehow the days fly by, and I feel like I have only been here for a few days. I still wonder if this is an alternate universe. It is possible that I am just crazy, but I have talked to other people on the ship, and they have said the same thing. I want to point out that they appear to be sane. At least some of them appear to be sane. It is probably not group insanity.
To summarize my experience, life is very, very busy on the ship, but I absolutely love it. I am very glad I met these very skilled and dedicated people, learned about hundreds of things I did not know about before, and got to be part of this expedition. I hope that I can show my students how absolutely amazing this world is. Then, maybe, they will explore the ocean, too. There just is nothing quite like this. Thank you Nautilus and her Corp of Explorers.
- Noelle Turner, Educator at Sea, Knoxville, TN