Over last weekend, I managed to snag a spot on the Gould to tag along on a fishing trip as a deckhand. A bunch of the "Beakers" (the generally accepted nickname for members of the science team) are collecting a few specific types of fish for some sort of researched, and we did a four-day or so trip doing both trawling, and crab pot fishing to get some of the specific fish they were looking for.
It was hard work, there's no doubt about that. The ship is 12-on, 12-off work shifts, and it's pretty grueling. I spent the majority of the time on deck, carrying around heavy things, sorting the catch, rigging lines, winching in the nets, baiting the crab pots, basically all the lousy jobs that the lowest rung of the ladder ends up doing. I've got a bunch of blisters on my hands from all the line handling, and I must have coiled a mile of rope (That actually might not be an exaggeration, now that I think about it). And the trawling is hard, because it's half an hour of intense work, and then about 45 minutes of sitting around. Basically, enough time to really get tired, and maybe ALMOST fall asleep . . . before you have to get up and go haul in the net. I slept when I could, made a 'bed' out of a few sheets of bubble wrap and a rolled-up jacket, laid out on one of the lab benches.
All in all? It was totally great.
I'll have some pictures up in a few days, hopefully.