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The nature of time

Time is a strange thing on board; days can fly by or pass very slowly. The hour before lunch is the longest hour of the day, where we wait with excitement, wondering what delicious things Shani and Cato will serve us today. They put out more dishes than seems humanly possible; even the captain has checked if they are not overworking themselves. Their homemade Nutella is a big hit, and we are blessed that the hull is packed with an exuberant amount of fruit.  

Time also passes by slowly when Peter and I are waiting to take out the manta trawl. Peter tracks the time, and I check every five minutes if we can take it out yet, mostly followed by a ‘not yet’. We are all curious and excited to see what will be in the net. Have we arrived at the South Pacific Garbage Patch? Will we find crab larvae again? Or maybe a fish from the deeper twilight zone? Although I am always hoping for ctenophores, it is hard to predict what we will actually find. It is different every time. We do find copious amounts of plastic now. Luckily, many people have been involved in picking out all the little pieces of plastic, which sometimes takes over an hour per sample. Every time we think we have every piece someone finds another one. Picking plastic together is not only valuable in the name of scienceit is also a perfect moment for chit-chatting and getting to know each other. I know who the perfectionists on board are, completely engaged with the task, and who will get distracted by all the wonderous little critters within minutes.  

In general, time passes by very quickly these days. We have been quite busy. Firstly, with sailing, mostly with putting the studding sails to work and taking them down again. I think we’ve all become rather good at it, being able to take them away in less than 3 minutes. Next to sail handling there are lectures by Jordi, Peter, and me or sail training by Nat and the deckhands. Adding board games at night, the day is over before we know it.

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