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Erin Jones ’17

Erin Jones is a junior at Mount Holyoke from Bainbridge Island, Washington. She majors in biological sciences and is earning a Five College certificate in coastal and marine sciences. In fall 2015, she spent a SEA (Sea Education Association) Semester in the South Pacific off the coast of New Zealand.

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February 19, 2016

Ship, shipmate, self

“Erin, wake up, you have 30 minutes until watch.”

With half-open eyes and a great yawn, I give a delirious thumbs-up in response to my shipmate’s whispers. Clambering out of my bunk, I slide into my work pants, windbreaker, and harness.

On deck, the sharp breeze and salty ocean spray against my hands and face is routine for the start of every watch. We stand watch twice over a 24-hour period, totaling ten hours. The rotation keeps each day flowing effortlessly into the next. Watch is intensely focused on the ship: where she needs to go, what deployments need to be done, and how we intend to make it all happen. Each movement—hoisting sails, towing the neuston net, plotting our position—becomes second nature.  

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