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Bob, the new crew member

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Students on Ice / WWF

We do some things at sea that we would never do on land but here, they seem normal: wake up every 6 hours for a 3-hour shift whether it’s noon, 6pm, or midnight; sleep on a berth wedged between pillows, the boat’s hull and an anti-roll plate at a 45 degree angle; flush the basic toilet with a hand pump, do the dishes with sea water, pull up the table to access drinkable water, raise the sails, lower them, raise them again, and do it over and over according to the weather… and we seem to enjoy all of it!

Unfortunately the wind dies down quickly and we must turn the motor on to continue our journey, against the fog that seems to keep us company! The outside temperature drops slowly, and we trade shorts, T-shirts and flip-flops for warmer clothes.  Sometimes there’s a ray of sunshine, and the summer clothes come out again!

We’ve improvised some new crew members along the way:  fulmars, shearwaters, two fin whales and even a Pine Siskin that we’ll call Bob. He returns every day around mid-day, does not look very fit and is very far above the earth for such a small bird! He finds the door of the boat and begins to go in and out for a while. He must find it very hot inside! The crew falls in love with their fourth team member and does everything to keep him on board: even imitating his distinctive cry (“ti-iiii”)… you can imagine the scene!  But sorry, no videos…

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