Valentine Over the Dateline

How do you stay close from half a world away? Long absences are a part of oceanography, and months away from home are something that all sailors cope with. In centuries past, sailors left home for two, three, or more years at a time, often not knowing when they would come home and communicating only through letters sent from strange ports, months apart.

With e-mail, satellite phones, and shorter voyages, today’s sailors don’t have to put up with quite so much isolation. But today is Valentine’s Day, and everyone on the ship misses loved ones, family, and friends at home. We’re all looking forward to coming home and being reunited with the ones we love. Read on through the slideshow to see a few examples of how people keep their links with home strong:

We’ve been steaming toward McMurdo all day today. By the end of the day tomorrow we’ll be in port, unloading all the science equipment, trying to walk on solid ground again, and getting ready for our flights home. Tomorrow will be our last post for the blog, although we’ll continue to answer questions if you have them. For now, we wish you all a happy Valentine’s Day.

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About Hugh Powell

Hugh is a staff writer at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and is on special assignment with the Rutgers University Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences. He has previously written for the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

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