Science

Suit Yourself

The latest news from Evelyn:

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We are moving southward and both the air and the water are growing colder. For our safety training this week, we learned how to put on immersion suits in 60 seconds or less. These suits are basically big, red wetsuits with stylish booties, gloves, and hoods. These suits are stored in a chest on the bow of the ship, and we’re supposed to put them on before jumping into the life rafts if the ship sinks. Putting on the suits in 60 seconds or less is easier said than done as the suits are big and bulky. You lose most of the use of your hands once you put on the suit. The suits are only made in sizes large and extra-large, so the smaller scientists had extra trouble putting on the suits. Even the large is rather big. The large suit fit Jackie– who is 6’3″– perfectly but was a little loose, to say the least, on Holly– who is 5’1″– and the rest of us.

Our latest dredge brought up only carbonate, and so the petrologists were a little bored this evening. To entertain ourselves, we decided to have immersion suit donning contest. I am very proud to inform you that I was the winner with a time of 31 seconds. I even beat out a crew member named Brian, who had a time of 33 seconds. If the ship sinks, I will be warm! I attribute my success in donning the immersion suit to all my years of whitewater kayaking. I learned how to put on my (much tighter) kayaking wetsuit in record time when I was changing for the river on cold New England spring days.

Miss you all, but I’m still having tons a fun out here in the Indian Ocean.

Best,

Evelyn

Rebecca Watson

Rebecca leads a team of skeptical female activists at Skepchick.org. She travels around the world delivering entertaining talks on science, atheism, feminism, and skepticism. There is currently an asteroid orbiting the sun with her name on it. You can follow her every fascinating move on Twitter or on Google+.

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5 Comments

  1. Evelyn,

    Anyone with small children ought to immediately recognize the Teletubby named "Po"! All you're missing is the antenna on top!

    (I'm sorry, but it HAD to be said).

    P.S. I'm glad to know you will return to us safe and sound even if your ship sinks from under you. Best of luck on the rest of your "fantastic voyage".

  2. Steve T – lol. It is Teletubby-ish.

    These suits are basically big, red wetsuits with stylish booties, gloves, and hoods.

    Yep, those booties are rockin' stylish, all right. So are the square reflectors on the knees(?). ;-)

    Congratulations on your win! Perhaps Brian is itching for a rematch…

  3. So your hands don't even reach into the gloves in that third pic? That's too funny. I guess if you're attacked by sharks, you could let one gnaw on your empty fingers for awhile.

    Thanks for this latest news. We miss you, too, and I'm sure all of us skeptics are sending you our positive energies and prayers for a safe return to us! ;)

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