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Polar Mail from the Oden

Letters: July 4

We were wondering today how big your rooms are. Do you sleep in bunk beds? Can you bring your own pillows? — Cassidy and Sintra, Falmouth, MA

Hi Cassidy & Sintra, thanks for writing. The rooms on the ship are just big enough for the beds, a desk, and a cabinet for storage. My room is more of a "suite," with two rooms of two bunk beds each. There are three of us sharing the suite, and we have our own bathroom. Compared to many oceanographic ships I have been on, the rooms are quite big! I'm sure I could have brought my own pillow, but the ship provides everyone with one.
Chris Linder

Today a bunch of our friends were also wondering how you can sleep with all the ICE-CRUNCHING going on. Is it noisy? Does it make you seasick? — Cassidy and Sintra, Falmouth, MA

The ice-crunching can be extremely loud at the aft (rear) part of the ship, where you can hear the ice chunks hitting the bottom of the ship and the propellers. It's so loud that sometimes you can't even have a conversation without shouting. Fortunately, the sleeping cabins are much higher up. The ice breaking sounds like a low humming or distant thunder from our bunks. One of the bonuses to being in the ice is that the ship is very stable. The ice acts like a blanket on the water, dampening out the wave motion. The ship still moves, but instead of a regular roll back and forth like in the open ocean (which makes me sick), the ship only lurches unpredictably (and doesn't roll that much) when it hits the big ice floes. Listen to the sound in Polar Fun »
Chris Linder