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Insights into the deckhouse life

There is this magical place called the deckhouse.
Just like the ocean 
changes all the time, so does the atmosphere in the deckhouse.

In the morning, it is empty until ten - coffee time - when it's suddenly filled with people crawling out of their beds for a drop of this magic potion and, probably regarded as even more important, the cookies.
Then on a rainy or stormy day the next moment of life is around lunch.
At this time, it is more of an acrobatic show with people trying to get their plates, cutlery and drinks safely to a table.
I always like to be 
early so I can have a good seat to observe this, and I am sure others in turn enjoy observing my acrobatic endeavours as well.
We have been at 
sea long enough now for most of us to realize you cannot carry all this and soup at the same time.
The overly confident will meet the bartender, 
who will sweetly tell them she will prepare a bowl while they already bring their plates and drinks away.

Most of us also learned (sometimes through making mistakes first) that you cannot fill your cup fully and that you can definitely not leave it on the table unattended.
We have been very lucky with the weather on this trip; the ocean allowed us to get used to life on a ship slowly.
Days with a very rocky ship 
have been scarce and only few cups have fallen over.

Then after lunch the deckhouse becomes lively.
Most people are awake 
This is the time of chess tournaments or other games, painting, 
workshops, knot-practicing, lectures, reading books and chitchatting.

Then after dinner things get interesting.
You will never know what 
happens in the room now.
It could be filled with songs and live music -
guitars, banjos, violins, whistles and ukuleles have all been present so far.

This is also the moment of movie nights with popcorn, 
conversations or thrilling poker games.
At midnight there is the change of shifts and suddenly there are people everywhere; the hallway stuffed with people putting raingear on, sleepy faces with coffee in their hands trying to wake up for their next shift, or going for a warm bowl of soup.

The middle of the night is one of my favorite moments.
This is the time 
of weird conversations, funny stories and nap time - given away by the sounds of snoring and feet sticking out of the benches.
Sometimes, after 
2.00 at night, I find people sitting spread out over the room just blindly staring in different directions with no apparent interaction or active brain cells present.
I wish I could explain to you how funny I 
find this, but this is one of those moments you just have to experience.

This is all until enthusiastic crew-members come in to announce sailhandling; a welcome distraction for some, or a moment where sleepy souls try to hide ("The trick is to not make any eye-contact" I have been told).

Some of us never want to go to bed, because you never know what could happen (emphasis on 'some of us', I think many are also very attached to their sleep).
One might just miss that group of dolphins, that nice 
conversation, the thrilling storm or beautiful sunrise.
Every hour of 
the day is a new experience and everyone has a different trip.

I know I will be up again tonight for the eclipse of the moon.
To then 
see it disappear into the ocean as the sun rises, all under the watchful eye of the stars still flickering in the purple sky.
What will you be doing?

Marretje, Researcher

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