North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences Life on the Edge: Exploring Deep Ocean Habitats - NC Museum of Natural Sciences Website
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2005 Questions & Answers

10/29/05

Tatiana, a ninth grader from Wake county, wants to know how big your rooms are.
Room sizes vary according to their location on the ship. Some rooms accommodate two people, some four. Some two-person rooms have bunks and enough space for a table; others have bunks that fold down from the walls opposite each other and no table. The four-person rooms usually have two sets of bunks end to end. All cabins have “closets” which also vary in size. In four-person rooms, the closests are similar to skinny lockers; they’re slightly wider in two-person rooms. There are also drawers under the bunks, with the exception of those rooms with pull down beds. Each room has its own sink. Some two-person rooms have their own bathroom (toilet and shower), but most rooms share a bathroom with the room next to them (6 to 8 people per bathroom). It can get crowded, but with our shift work, there is usually a bit of time when you can get the room to yourself.

Dustin, a third grader from Randolph county, asks, Is it fun sleeping during the day?
The ship is set up to try to accommodate the fact that people need to sleep during the day. The cabin area is a mandatory quiet zone. The cabins themselves are kept very cool and have no windows so with the lights off they are very dark and peaceful. The gentle swaying of the ship is also comforting, like swinging in a hammock. Sleeping during the day does have its challenges though. You have to decide if you want to eat that day or not and then set your alarm clock accordingly. When the sub is down, the pilot is in contact with the bridge and the ship’s captain). Every time there is communication between the two of them, a sharp, high-pitched buzz is heard throughout the cabin area. There is also the general noise of the ship’s engines and sometimes the maintenance work of the crew to contend with. It is an adjustment to be sure, but you get used to it.

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