Meet the Officer!
Chris is the Atlantic Explorer’s second mate. When I first asked him if I could interview him, he said ‘give me some time to get my story straight’. So I waited, and here it is, true story. On board of the AE, navigation and safety fall under Chris’ responsibilities, and it has been so for two and a half years. However, Chris’s experience on research vessels extends eight years back, when he first chose to become a man of the sea. He loves seeing new places, doing new things and meeting many different people.. and this is why he chose this profession, all these things are part of his job! “Do what you love and love what you do” is the advice given out by Chris, and a very wise one indeed. The people Chris has met and daily works with on the AE are another reason why he’s so passionate about his job. He’s very fond of the crew, and greatly appreciates the strong bond among its members.. put into Chris’ words, “this ship feels more like a home and a family than any other ship I’ve ever worked on”.
Jojo is from Cauite City in the Philippines, and has been a boatswain for the AE for almost ten years. His tasks include maintenance of the ship, assisting the science party in back-deck operations, and controlling the CTD from the bridge during his shift. Jojo’s refined skills and experience shine through everything he does; having him out on the back deck during rough seas or strong winds is a promise to a fast and smooth deployment thanks to his attentiveness and focus. If you find yourself in the middle of an operation and not very sure on how to proceed.. Jojo will assist you before you even get the time to ask for help! Outside of work hours, Jojo can cheer anyone up with his smile and the positive energy he constantly radiates. He loves his job and a lot of his enthusiasm for this position comes from the great relationships he’s developed with the crew and the rest of the BIOS staff.
Our Able Seamen
Who said that a Research Vessel cannot turn into a big fishing boat to capture the greatest creatures hiding beneath the surface? Certainly not Ronnie. With bare hands, a single line and a tasty bait, Ronnie will provide dinner for the whole crew in a matter of minutes. During this trip, a meter-long, colorful Mahi Mahi (see photo below!) has already been caught and it’s only a matter of when it will end up in our hungry bellies. Officially, Ronnie takes care of the ship’s maintenance in port and at sea, helps out the science party with winch operations, and is the uncontested ‘spotter’ of the AE: his incredible sight enables him to spot whatever we’re looking for among the waves (being a surfacing glider, a lost float or, why not, an undisclosed submarine?) minutes before anybody else. Ronnie is from Zambales, in the Philippines; he’s been working for over eight years on the Atlantic Explorer, and is wishing to stay for many more.
Jake also holds the Able Seaman position on the ship. His roles include maintenance of the ship, operating the instruments used by the science party, and assisting the officer on the bridge at night. Jake is from Aklan in the Philippines, and has been working on the Atlantic Explorer for almost nine years. What he enjoys most of being a seaman is: the sea! Jake loves being in close contact with people who share his passion, and being the AE a Research Vessel, there are endless opportunities to work alongside scientists who are always trying to unveil the mysteries of the ocean. Jake thanks the BIOS staff and the science parties who sail on the AE because they make him enjoy his job all the more. Just like pretty much anyone who has sailed on this ship, Jake thanks our incredible chefs Buddy and Dexter for the tasty food!
Our chief chef Dexter is from Cogayan in the northern part of the Philippines. He used to work in tanker container and cargo ships before accepting a position on the AE about seven years ago. Other than being an exceptionally nice person, Dexter is a very hard-working and self-motivated guy who’s enthusiastic about his job and loves to be surrounded by the crew and scientists on the AE. His tasks include running the kitchen, maintaining hygiene and sanitation standards and observe safety procedures whilst cooking. Dexter is happy to satisfy anyone’s nutrition needs, as he has a wide range of vegetarian, gluten-free and lactose-intolerant recipes in his repertoire. His main dish is sushi, which was quickly devoured when it appeared as our meal..
Chef Buddy is the youngest crew-member on board. He has worked in many different countries, which influenced his cuisine and greatly enriched his cooking repertoire. Buddy cares to cook something different every day, and aims at not repeating a single dish throughout even the most lengthy of cruises. Chicken sandwiches are his specialty, and everybody on board of this cruise can confirm! Buddy has been a chef on the AE for over eight years now, and he’s planning on staying. Like most of the members of the crew, Buddy’s family lives in the Philippines, in Batangas, and he sees them every six months for three months. When on the ship, Buddy is very happy with the ways of communication available to him, which make it easy to keep in touch with their loved ones who live further away.