Of all of the living quarters on board the R/V Melville, there is one that stands above all the rest: The Man Cave. First conceptualized in mid-2010, the Man Cave has become a haven for fun, laughter, and marathons of “It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia,” and “Entourage.” The existence of the room was discovered by an inquiring Nick Pollock, as he perused the floor plan of the ship, and realized there was a single 4-person room, as compared to the all of the other double rooms. An enterprising Will Schlitzer soon realized the potential for such a room, dubbed it “The Man Cave,” and passed his thoughts on to Karen Harpp, who quickly approved the plan and assigned the two previously mentioned gentlemen, along with Cam McKee and Will Cushman, to the room. Thus, the Man Cave was born.
Upon arriving at the Melville, the 4 Man-Cavers soon realized that the crew had another name for the room: Boys’ Town. While some might find this dual-naming system a source of identity crisis, the residents of the Man Cave realized that previous groups had acknowledged the room for what it was: a room where doubling the occupancy exponentially increased the fun.
The Man Cave is seen as an active group aboard the boat, participating in activities such as hot tubbing together, as well as waking each other up for watches, not always delicately. We hope that in generations to follow, people will still celebrate the bonds of friendship created in the Man Cave during the FLAMINGO cruise.
Cam and Schlitzer's Beds
Cushman and Nick's Beds
Schlitzer and Cam's Desks
Nick and Cushman's desks and closets
The library onboard is for those times that we need to escape the science lab and get some alone time, but don’t feel like getting fried on the deck. Complete with a sofa, some comfy chairs, a TV and DVD player, and a table and chairs for more studious pursuits, the library is a nice getaway where we can spend our off time. Not to mention there are literally hundreds upon hundreds of books lining the shelves, with themes so varied – mystery, horror, science fiction and romance novels, histories, classics – they could tickle anyone’s fancy. Here’s a brief sample of titles you could find in the library:
The Ultimate Weight Solution: The 7 Keys to Weight Loss Freedom by Dr. Phil – For those who want to take advantage of the ample free time onboard to work the extra pounds off.
Moby Dick by Hermann Melville – The great classic to put you in a seafaring, and whale-crazed, mood.
Night Sins by Tami Hoag – Your guess is as good as ours.
Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf – If you want to be depressed.
Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling – Do you really need a reason, other than it’s Harry Potter?
The Second Betrayal – A Lexie Steele Novel “The first time was a sin. Now, there’s no turning back.” by Cheyenne McCray – For those lonelier moments.
About 40 novels each by Dean Koontz, Tom Clancy, Clive Cussler, and Stephen King – Quick, sometimes exciting, and often fun (or at least funny) reads.
An awesome selection of Plato, Aristotle, Shakespeare, Ptolemy, Tolstoy, Kant, Macchiavelli, Thomas Aquinas, and other great and/or controversial Western thinkers – In case the science you’re doing doesn’t work your brain cells hard enough, which is unlikely.
When I say No, I feel Guilty: How to Cope- Using the Skills of Systematic Assertive Therapy by Manuel J. Smith, Ph.D. - For the pushover who always lets everyone else go to meals first during watch.
The Hot Tub:
In our free time, scientists and crew members enjoy using the ship's hot tub. Using water that helps to keep the engines cool, the hot tub provides a comfortable spot to catch some sun and enjoy the fresh air. It also functions as a fun environment that allows us to socialize and get to know the crew.
The hot tub with a great view of the ocean
"Rules for the hot tub"
Will and Cam enjoying the hot tub
Scientists and crew members hanging out and catching some sun
The galley (pictured above) provides us with food around the clock. Formal meal times are as follows:
In addition to these times, food is always available. Leftovers from previous meals are kept in one refrigerator, while drink dispensers, snack jars (Fritos, pretzels, and granola bars), and the favorite, ice cream freezer, provide quick food for those on and off watch. To settle confusion over stolen mugs and cups, everyone in the galley is assigned one of each, according to their bunk number.
Contrary to a popular belief that food on board ship would be disgusting, barely edible sludge that had the one redeeming quality of preventing scurvy, food on board has been delicious (substantially better than the Colgate University dining hall), and full of variety. Here is the menu for today:
Fresh fruit (pineapples, strawberries, melon, kiwi)
Eggs (scrambled and over easy)
Hamburger (Plain, with cheese, with bacon and cheese)
Chicken with Rice
The Main Science Lab:
The main science lab (top picture) is where most of the action with the science team takes place and includes the main station (bottom picture) where we've been having our shifts. The computers that collect the data from the shipboard equipment are housed in the main science lab and it's where the bathymetric data are processed. The room has a lot of space that has and will serve many functions such as a staging area for some of the instruments that will be towed behind the ship like the TowCam and the gravimeter. When we start dredges, the tables will serve as the areas where rock samples will be processed as they arrive on deck. Also, this room is home to the Hawaiian team who are hard at work collecting side-scan sonar data and playing some pretty cool music. [Thanks for the Cake album earlier, guys. Music makes watches more fun.]