Having been on the Oden, a Swedish vessel, for only 13 days I wouldn’t have expected to feel at home, but the Oden crew has been more than welcoming. While I’ve been involved heavily in all aspects of the research during this expedition, I have also found myself practicing my German and learning Swedish words to communicate with the crew. Which was not really necessary, as everyone speaks English, but they have been extremely patient. I even downloaded the ‘learn it yourself’ Swedish DVD and began reading the follow along books.
Aside from feeling at home thanks to the crew, I am grateful for the Oden herself. Throughout our journey I have not once felt worried or had doubts about our safety. Probably the best aspects of the Oden are what she’s equipped with. Of course, being an icebreaker has precedent, but the gym comes second in my book. There have been multiple nights, especially in the beginning of the trip that were overwhelming. This was because we were settling, in but the gym is where I found my solace.
At home, I constantly workout whether it’s rugby, lifting, or climbing. On the ship I exercise to relieve stress after rotations of overnight CTD watches and scientific data processing. We even began a little yoga group with a bunch of other members at 2030 daily.