You tend to lose track of what day of the week it is when you are at sea. One reminder is when you are close to the Delmarva Peninsula on a beautiful weekend. You can see sun bathers and swimmers along the beaches if the ship gets close enough. The observers were hoping for a picture of the Assateague Island wild ponies, but instead saw sun bathers. The scientists often enjoy the beach atmosphere of the ship's flying bridge between stations and when off watch.
You can relax and read a book with the added bonus of the observers alerting you to marine life that comes within photo distance.
We also often see a lot more boat traffic, especially around the fish havens. The command and the crew assisted a small recreational fishing boat in distress. The boat was running low on engine oil, and the ship was able to pass them some as we came alongside. The boat was able to speed to shore after filling their tank, and we were able to steam on to the next station. It was a small gesture, but as someone who has had to be towed back to the marina, I can imagine their relief.
Chief Scientist, GU1902
Aboard the NOAA Ship Gordon Gunter