Shipboard Labyrinth

The JR is a giant labyrinth with stairs and escape latches connecting and disconnecting areas within the ship. In this post I will not rant about how many times I got lost, but rather a short tour of my regular ‘light at the end of the tunnel’.

As I am Malaysian and food plays a large part of my culture, I will start the tour at one of my favourite parts of the JR – the Mess Hall aka the dining hall. This is where I will spend not only breakfast, lunch and dinner; I will also have tea breaks and snacks in here! Main meals are served every 6 hours with a 2 hour window, while snacks are served in between every main meal. If the math is done right, there is basically food every 3 hours – it is pretty easy to put on a hefty amount of weight here as there is a free flow of food! On top of that, food is not bad at all (mostly from a graduate student perspective)!

Mess Hall

The Mess Hall where messes are allowed

With the amount of calories taken into the system, I will have to burn it all away somehow! There is a pretty neat gym installed in the JR – and a decent amount of free weights. It is somewhat similar to what RSMAS has to offer but a gym on a ship gives me no excuses for not working out.


The place to go when you have eaten like a pig

On top of that, there is a cinema on board too! I have not had the time to check it out yet but at some point I probably will use it.


The cinema…’nuf said

Just outside the cinema is the JR lounge with books and board games! I guess entertainment is all set.


The lounge with books and games

How would the living quarters look like? It is an incredibly small space with bunk beds. I share the space with another scientist of the opposite shift so we do not strangle each other by week 3 and have some privacy. Want to know how good my marketing skills are? I wiggled my way onto obtaining the lower bunk!


The bedroom for the tired souls

Of course, I have a shared bathroom with another cabin. That makes 4 people to a bathroom. We agreed that whenever the light is on, there is someone inside. I do hope no one forgets to turn off the light, or else there will be broken doors to be fixed.


Bathrooms with showers that have no problems with water pressure

The very first place I was acquainted with in the JR is the conference room. This is where meetings and discussions are held. Aside from the Mess Hall, the conference room is also closely connected to our living quarters.

Conference room

The place where scientific arguments happen

The next location in the JR is probably the place where I will spend the bulk of my time (at least 12 hours a day) – even more than the 7 – 8 hours in my living quarters. That would be the core deck sedimentology laboratory. This is my playground with the other cool kids and it is shared with the physical properties specialists.

Core deck

A sedimentologist’s playground

The catwalk is located right outside the core deck sedimentology laboratory where the action happens. This is where the technicians transport the core from the drill floor onto deck for us to investigate.


The beginning of all beginnings of every core

The JR is supplied with kilometers of core barrels stacked nicely in close proximity to the derrick. The JR is supposed to be capable of drilling up to 8km depth!

Core barrel

Stacked core barrels

Like every drill rig, the JR also comes with a helideck! It looks like a horizontal, non-protected hamster wheel. Currently, it is covered with freights and I will be able to take a better picture once all the freights are in place.


The protection-free horizontal hamster wheel

There is Internet on the ship albeit slower than a dial-up modem. The Internet comes from the snow globe structure on the picture below. There are 2 of these on the JR and it is responsible for our Internet connectivity on-board.


The Internet Goddess

Until next time where I will try to get most of my burning questions answered regarding shipboard operations.

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