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cloudy weather
Cloudy and squally
64°F (17.8°C)
Latitude: 47° 57'N
Longitude: 129° 06'W
Wind Direction: W
Wind Speed: 10 Knots
Sea State: 3
Swell(s) Height: 8 Foot
Sea Temperature: 55°F (12.8°C)
Barometric Pressure: 1019.0 MB
Visibility: 10 Nautical Miles

what's to eat

Sausage patties
Fresh fruit
Scrambled eggs
Cheese danish

New England fish chowder
Beef chili with cheese and onions
Steamed rice
Quesadillas with salsa, sour cream, and guacamole
Beans, pork, and cheese burritos
Beef tamale bites
Ice cream bars

New York sirloin steak
Baked stuffed shrimp
Mashed potatoes
Rice and orzo pilaf
Fresh sourdough bread
Chocolate cake with chocolate frosting

Even at Sea, Memorial Day is a Time to Reflect
June 1, 2004
By Amy Nevala

At sea on Atlantis, there are no days off. Weekend breaks and vacations don’t exist, as researchers and the ship’s crew work around the clock to complete science objectives. Still, they do recognize holidays and other special events. Turkeys are prepared on Thanksgiving, jellybeans fill bowls in the galley on Easter, and birthday celebrants receive a cake and a song.

On land on Monday, while millions of Americans visited cemeteries, placed flowers at war memorials, or attended parades and picnics, Memorial Day onboard RV Atlantis 200 miles from shore offered time for quiet personal reflection. In private conversations, military veterans now serving as Atlantis crew offered opinions about current and previous wars fought or witnessed. Nearly everyone spoke of the families they miss back home.

In the galley this morning, an American flag hung on a bulkhead, and I thought—as I always do on Memorial Day—of a man I never met. John Braid, who shared time with my dad on tennis courts and college classrooms, was killed by a booby trap in Vietnam in the summer of 1969. He was 25.

Holidays are not easy to spend without loved ones, and for Atlantis crew members who go to sea for weeks or months at a time, their families can seem especially far away. Oiler Philip Treadwell, a father of four and grandfather of two, has found comfort in e-mail, which is downloaded from shore four times a day to his personal computer. “Holidays were much worse before e-mail, when I was spending an obscene amount of money on phone calls, or waiting a long time to pick up letters at ports,” he said.

Second Assistant Engineer Monica Hill busied herself with engine room watch duty on Monday, and tried to forget that she that she was missing family barbeques. “Sometimes it’s best just to block out the holidays,” said Monica, who has worked on oil tankers and research vessels since 1995. “I’ve been at sea for anniversaries, birthdays, Christmas, deaths in the family, and the births of nieces and nephews. It’s part of my job.”

Shipboard Sciences Services Group Technician Technician Dave Sims joked that for many, Memorial Day has become an annual milestone when “it again becomes OK to wear white.” Sims, who spent nine years in the Navy, chose Monday to focus on a positive aspect of being at sea over the long holiday weekend.

“ If being out here, away from our homes and families, helps us understand this day just one little bit more, well, then that's a good thing,” he said. “It's a small inconvenience to help us understand a far greater sacrifice that people have made, and are still making, for our sakes.”