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Voyage to Kure: Expedition Diaries

<< Expedition Diaries | About the Islands

Day 1: First Day at Sea

Holly Lohuis
Holly Lohuis. Photo credit: Sarah Ettman-Sterner

We are integrating the "three R's" -- reduce, reuse and recycle -- as much as possible, as we are living with limited space and resources. The team is learning to live aboard ship like coral reef animals, which successfully survive by using the same elements over and over and where there is no waste.

- Holly Lohuis, Expedition Team, Education Associate


In Transit to Mokumanamana

Date: 7/7/03
Location: N22°35.5' W161°49.1'
Weather: Partly cloudy
Sea Conditions: Wind 15-20 knots, seas 6-8 feet

On the team's first full day at sea, the crew aboard spend most of the day through rough seas and squalls to their first destination, Mokumanamana. After a year and a half of anticipation, Jean-Michel is thrilled that their first dive is less than 24 hours away. But in the meantime, the crew has much to do, establishing chores and systems for everyday life aboard the boat.

Holly Lohuis, Expedition Team, Education Associate:

[Our mission for day is] to continue to secure all items on deck and inside the cabins for the rough sea conditions we are bound to encounter in the 1,200-mile voyage to Kure. The toughest part is storing and securing all the food and beverages. You can just imagine the logistical challenge of supplying healthy, energy-rich food for 22 divers for over a month. The menu might be easy, but when it comes to storing the food you have to be creative! Every available space is useful for storage on a research vessel, and no place is too sacred -- under our beds, in the bathroom and throughout the empty bilges. Today, it was fun finding the tomato paste for tonight's spaghetti dinner. There were several spots to check, including under Matt's bed, in Ed's bathroom and in the stern head (bathroom!).

The Ocean Futures Society Expedition Team. Although for many team members, this is the first time they've worked with each other, they have bonded together and are functioning as a cohesive unit. This is critical for successfully executing the different logistics required for diving and filming in remote conditions. Photo credit: Tom Ordway

Today was also the day for establishing daily chores, like who is responsible for laundry and who will be the primary person helping our cook, Ronda, in the galley. There is a bonus for helping in the galley. Ronda has brought a full bag of prizes, and last night, Jean-Michel and Antoine won silver medals, and today, Nan, Tove, Ed and Jim all received baseball hats!

Life aboard the Searcher is still in the hectic mode as we organize ourselves. We are working on establishing our recycling system and where to store all the trash. We designated a hatch on the bow as "the spot," but we need to make sure it will hold a month's worth of trash, glass bottles, aluminum cans and plastic bottles. We are integrating the "three R's" -- reduce, reuse and recycle -- as much as possible, as we are living with limited space and resources. The team is learning to live aboard ship like coral reef animals, which successfully survive by using the same elements over and over and where there is no waste.