I thought you might like to hear what I have to say, although I don't actually know what Dave has been sending you so it may be a bit redundant. However, perhaps a different perspective might be insightful.
As you know yesterday we had our graduation ceremony here on board. To tell you the truth I had no idea, nor had I any expectations, of a ceremony or celebrations. For the first time in my life I think I have been completely taken by surprise. I figured the day would proceed as any other, science as usual. I forgot about graduation. Honestly out here I lose track of the days with respect to their proper names, each day flows into the next, and a designation of a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday is lost out here at sea. Especially when I work the midnight to noon shift, my sense of days is completely warped. It has become very natural to say "goodnight" to others as I am waking up, as well as "good morning" to my co-workers when it is 11:30 at night.
Anyhow, yesterday's ceremony and festivities were incredible, the best graduation I could have ever conjured up. The creativeness as well as thoughtfulness that went into it suits me much more than any formalities and tradition ever could. From the photos you can see we were donned in our own special caps and gowns- what a blast. Gene (Domack) gave a nice induction speech, as well as a really thoughtful address by Captain Joe.
Perhaps people are wondering if any of the students have had any regrets about missing the end of the school year, or in Nat's and my case, graduation. All I have to say is 'no regrets,' for I would not want to be anywhere other than this frozen icy-blue world. This cruise has been incredible. Despite all the pictures one can see of Antarctica, you cannot fully realize its stark beauty and grandeur as when confronted face to face with it. Standing on the bow of the Nathaniel B. Palmer, as we are cruising through the ice toward the peninsula's shore, lined sharp tipped mountains poking out through glaciers and capped with snow is an incomparable experience.
So I have lots to say, do you have any specific questions or aspects of our daily routines that you would like more info on? Hope to hear from you.