Rachel Scotts Blog

June 30, 2018

I sit in a van, driving town highway 20 with a heavy chest. Leaving the R/V Roger Revelle felt like leaving home. The ship did not simply bring me out to sea, it brought me to where I now know I belong – it also brought along the people I belong with. Never have I had so many encouraging people around me supporting my existence. The love, stress, and work of a ship are all part of the process. Although leaving is bitter sweet, I trust the process and know that this was only my first trip of many out to sea.

June 29, 2018

Looking at land while sitting here on the bow of the ship in the harbor of Newport, knowing the days have turned into hours and the hours have turned into minutes, and now out of the many many many minutes on this boat I think about the few minutes I have left until my sea legs become useless and the reality of land returns… It is overwhelming. I say a silent thanks out here to three of the most inspiring people I have ever met: One is currently in the science lab insuring the success this the cruise (Deb); two is likely thinking of new and innovative ways to engage with the ocean (John); three is a million miles away and probably laughing at the hilarity that was her little rascal smiling like a damn fool driving the ship ‘like a natural’ with a brilliant Captain to her left (Mom). Thank you for starting me on the path to my future.

June 28, 2018

As my last fully operational day on the ship begins to expire as the final moments of my last shift in the Jason Control Van creep by, I sit and wonder how I, once a little girl from a landlocked town of less than two hundred, ended up on this cruise – the (initially) nearly unfathomable brain child of and built by my idols, whom I watched on screens and only ever dreamed of meeting a decade ago. I both know and not know at the same time how this situation came to be. I am here now, so I must have done something… except I cannot quite pinpoint what precisely it was (aside from applying for VISIONS’18 and trying to exist in the only manner I know). Subsequently, I encourage you all to just try: attempt to try even when it is hard, try to be you and true to that which is you, try to love and to learn, try to be ingenuous and innovative, try to be creative. A professor of mine and the wizard behind the curtain that is OOI told me try and determine where your creativity comes from, and I encourage you all to do the same. I have found life is much more interesting that way.

June 27, 2018

With less than 48 hours of my own personal paradise left, I feel the time and opportunities to acquire as much knowledge possible flying by. On this ship I want everything and everyone to be my teacher – I have learned about interactions at the ocean and sediment interface as well as the interconnectedness of chemical, biological, and physical processes with in this interface at Hydrate Ridge, that the handles I have been using to open doors are called ‘dogs’ (i.e. dogging the hatches), that one does cannot ‘kill time’, that time is the most precious resource on a ship (with personal stamina as a close second), and most profoundly of all that conversation are to be had with everyone on board: the Captain the cook, the marine technicians, the scientists, the engineers, the Abs (able bodied seamen), the Mates (first, second, and third), the JASON crew… literally everyone. Lessons can be gained and information gathered round every corner. Everyone and everything, even the chirp of the ADCP, slap of the waves, and silent soaring of albatross has a story to be heard if one is willing to wait and listen carefully for a at least a while.

June 26, 2018

Another day at sea has left me aghast and falling even deeper in love with my career path. Today, I am at a loss for words: I am unable to effectively communicate exactly what the ocean has provided me with, but it is within the realm of serenity and oneness, truly an Oceanic Feeling. Oceania is not simply a place to visit for me, it is home… A Tremendous Sea of Love

June 25, 2018

A struggle I have but often not share is that I have ADHD or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. For those unfamiliar, ADHD typically encompasses individuals whom appear to be highly distractible, fidgety, and inexplicably energized (I was thus bestowed with the nickname ‘hyper-ray’ or just ‘hyper’ by a member of the ship’s crew). A common misconception about ADHD is that it is an eternal hinderance if not ‘managed’ properly. I instead insist that, as the queen of mismanagement and after having experienced three days on the ship thus far, that ADHD is not a deficit. It is a naturally occurring mindset or mode that is an asset, especially if in the right setting, undampened and unreeled.

I feel as if somehow this ?? year old 24-hour operation ship was designed with me in mind!! The open ocean truly makes me feel comfortable, at home and at peace. I am one of few whom have not gotten sea sick (knock on wood) and love zipping around the boat from place to place filled with vigor, inquisition, and happiness. At least 10 of the crew members have asked me if I am always like this? (always in a jesting manner) or what amount of coffee I have drank to be bouncing off the walls like I do (the answer usually is zero, and that this is simply me). The control van for our ROV (remotely operated vehicle) Jason is also undoubtedly the place for me! There are no less than 20 camera viewer screens up at all times and a million little things (literally) successfully holding my attention. Just as how all individuals preferentially preform in situations they are best equipped for, my ADHD (in combination with my Oceanography schooling) has exponentially prepared me to demonstrate what I have to offer VISIONS’18. I remain convinced being at sea is for me.

June 24, 2018

Twenty-four hours in the books with 5 days to go and my default thought remains ‘how do I stay’? Stowaways are likely not taken to kindly and there is a life waiting for me ashore… It was troublesome setting my personal and private life aside and the thought of leaving kept me anxious until I reached the vessel, but now that I am out here – seemingly nowhere from the immense stretches of ocean all around, yet somewhere in particular affirmed by the slew of instruments and scientists before me – all I want to do is stay at sea. I can feel the knowledge I have acquired bubbling up and the want to utilize it all coming forth. I truly seek to become like those on this ship (scientists, crew, and all) and hope to use my time to further myself and my aspirations alike.

June 23, 2018

When I left Seattle at approximately 07:00 on the 22nd of June 2018, I knew I was embarking on a journey I had long been imagining but had never fully realized the magnitude of… Going to sea has been a dream of mine ever since I realized it was not only a dream to be had, but an accomplishable one. When I first began watching cable television at a not so early age, I still remember how intense my captivation became for images of the ocean… wanderlust of sorts… seeing organisms that I and much of the world had never fathomed before left me bewildered and wanting more. I did not simply want for more images, I wanted it all. I wanted to be the captain of the ship, the crew, the submersible pilot, the scientist, photographer, mechanic, and even the organisms themselves. In my child mind, I wished myself away to be part of the ocean – I wanted to be vast and whole, systematic yet chaotic. In my adult mind I still wish to be a part of the ocean, but more importantly I now work through the pursuit of oceanic/marine science degrees to achieve just that. I now know I cannot literally be the ocean but recognize that I can become an integral part of the oceanic systems. Going to sea is a journey that can hardly be put into words and the magnitude of solace it provides leaves me aghast just the same.