July 19, 2012
I usually have trouble sleeping. I am a very light sleeper and I can only go to bed when I am really tired. Can’t just lay down and go to sleep because I have to get early; can’t nap. I don’t understand how other people can do it. So when I go out to sea I have to get up around sunrise because the Tricho I talked about earlier get up around then and they will not wait. Everyone else that gets up with me for the net tow usually just goes to bed early the night before so they can be up and ready to go. I, for some reason or another, do not have this luxury. I try to go to bed, don’t get me wrong. I will lay there and lay there and lay there. Then my mind starts racing, Did I set everything up? Did I remember everything? I start thinking that even though I could not sleep on the last cruise in the beginning, this one will be different. Then I start pleading with myself. Listen brain, I don’t like you and you don’t like me. We have to get up at 430 a.m. no matter what time we go to bed so lets just do it. This seldom works. My brain does not listen. I toss and turn. Sometimes because I am not comfortable, other times because the boat is rocking and rolling. I try not to look at the clock anymore, that just makes me sad to know how little sleep I am actually going to get. Maybe I should have laid down earlier, I never do though. I get caught up in preparation, double checking things, and the casual conversation. Maybe one last glimpse of land; won’t see that for awhile. Then acceptance. It is happening again. Almost no sleep the first night. Things are starting off badly. You need to be alert on the first day. The boat is rocking back and forth and you are not used to it. Things always go wrong somehow during the first day of sampling. Here I am again, laying in the dark, hours before I have to get up thinking, here we go again.
This usually continues for at least another night. I am used to it by now. The way I deal with it is to run myself ragged. Work hard all day. The little amount of sleep the night before plus a full days work may do the trick. I’ll be so tired tonight I will have to sleep. Usually works. This time it has not. The first three nights I barely slept at all. I was taking a couple hours to fall asleep and then I would just keep waking up. I don’t think I slept for more than four hours any of those nights. It was not fun. I got something from another scientist to help me sleep and even that did not work completely. Still took awhile to fall asleep but when I did I slept through the night. I was beautiful but still not enough.
Another scientist was sick. And now I am. Sickness spread rapidly on a boat. You are always at least 270 feet from another person. I have a sore throat, I’m all stuffed up, my head and sinuses feel like there is a lot of pressure building up, plus I am a little groggy. But I still need and want to work. We only get a few chances like this. This cruise can never be repeated. The waters are constantly changing. This is a short cruise; only 17 days. And at $30,000 a day for ship time, I better give it my all. Plus, I do want to graduate one day. Anyway, enough complaining. I have to go to bed. Not sure when the next post will be because I have to try to sleep more and there is always work to do. There goes what little free time I have. I’m complaining again. Goodnight.