Call me Ishmael: Seahab

Living on a ship for three weeks means that you pick up a few tidbits of knowledge such as the difference between tieing a bend and a hitch, but a term that is rather unique to sailing on National Science Foundation (NSF) vessels is Seahab. All research vessels control the supply of alcohol on board, and thus the intake of alcohol while at sea (personal caches are not permitted). Many ships will serve a beer with dinner or provide a coupon for a drink at some other time. NSF has taken the extra step of making all of their vessels dry. With no alcohol on board the ship, the cruise becomes a great way to dry out at sea and thus the term seahab.

After nearly a month dry, the crew (and scientists) are eager to enjoy the bars as soon as we made it back shoreside. It makes for quite the adventure out on the town since there’s a synergy of sorts going on between the eagerness of getting to drink and the relatively low tolerance after a dry month. Needless to say, it’s a miricle of everyone manages to stumble back to the ship. Best of all, the next morning it’s back to work!

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