Q: How much of the time spent on the boat and sub is waiting time? And what do you do in the meanwhile?
A: Waiting time is weather dependent. Ideally, we would have very little waiting time. We have nets, trawls, and containers so that we can have equipment in the water 24 hours a day. Unfortunately, we have had some rough weather due to Tropical Depression Christobal, so we have not been able to put nets in the water as frequently as we would like. We also lost one of our nets and had to spend the next few hours rigging a new one. The sub is not deployed during rough weather. The sub would be fine under water, but we would not be able to get it back on deck safely.
When we are not working the nets, we are taking advantage of the wealth of knowledge on board to learn more about the researchers' special interests and ideas. We also talk with the ship's crew to learn more about their jobs and how they got involved in working at sea. Downtime also gives us the opportunity to look at the data we have gathered so far, and to figure out what we want to do next. We are still filming activities around the ship. Of course, we also find time to eat snacks, catch naps, and read books.
There is a lounge that is mainly used by the crew when they are off duty. They can watch videos or satellite TV. We saw the image of Christobal on TV and we are glad we are not any closer!