“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.