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  Field Notes From
New Eyes on the Oceans

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From Author

Jennifer Ackerman

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From Photographer

Cary Wolinsky

Unfiltered for authenticity, these accounts have not been researched and may differ from the printed article.

Covering the Oceans

Field Notes From Author
Jennifer Ackerman
There is a kind of sensory deprivation that goes on when you’re out in the middle of the ocean. You don’t have the rich smells and sights associated with land. But over the two weeks that I was onboard, I experienced exquisite moments that made the whole stay on empty ocean worthwhile. On one day, I enjoyed the complete arc of a perfect, brilliant, double rainbow. On another, my eyes trailed some albatrosses riding the thermals. And on still another day, I saw something I’d never seen before: The green flash that sparks at sunset. These were those little moments when the natural world puts on a wonderful display. I discovered my tendency toward seasickness. I brought all kinds of medications with me and was fine wearing my accupressure wristbands the first couple of days. But on the third day we got these heavy rollers from a big storm in the North Pacific. They rocked the boat, and I got sick as a dog. I knew that the best remedy was to go out on deck for fresh air, but instead I dove for my cabin and hibernated there for a day. It was like nonstop morning sickness, and I never quite got over it. It was really a challenge to try to stay upright and interview people while feeling so completely miserable. The crew has a weekly barbecue. It’s something of a ritual. They set up the grill on the fantail of the ship and serve hamburgers with all the fixings. It’s quite a scene to see that set up on a boat.

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