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You are here: /main/research/NOWRAMP 2002/journals/naps/


Ship Logs

The Value of Naps
Pearl and Hermes Reef
Posted by `Aulani Wilhelm, Assistant Reserve Coordinator, NWHI Coral Reef Ecosystem Reserve
September 27, 2002

Monk Seal sleeping at Pearl and Hermes Reef.  Photo by Jim Watt.Da--.da..da --da..da -da..da..da..da - da - da -- da..da --da..da -da..da..da..da - da, was what I awoke to this evening. Andy Collins and Jim Watt strumming their respective guitars, with Carlos Eyles playing back up on the bottom of the 5-gallon plastic bucket. Not sure what song they were playing, but watching them momentarily, sitting on buckets in their narrow cabin made me smile. Harmony and friendship.

It was a great rhythm to wake up to after a late afternoon nap. Napping isn't something that us adults get to do very much of anymore. Naps are rare treasures. But on NOWRAMP, these naps are lifesavers. Whether they are comfortable naps in your bunk when the ship is on anchor, or stolen naps on the inflatable gunwale of the zodiacs taken during the surface interval between SCUBA dives, or sneaky 10-minute naps at the end of 3 dives but just before dinner - these naps, when taken unabashedly, can be the best part of the day.

Napping on the Zodiac.This may sound strange when compared to visiting vast coral reef gardens of a giant atoll, swimming with dozens of circling sharks, or hiking the sheer cliffs of an ancient volcanic remnant (the other things we get to do on this trip) - but the funny thing is, it is these naps that make the other experiences even better.

Naps give us the energy-boosts our bodies need to be able to appreciate the beauty and intrigue of this 30-day expedition. SCUBA diving, loading and offloading zodiacs, hiking, swimming and simply standing when the ship is rocking in 10-foot seas all take a toll on the body. A toll most of us do not experience in our every day lives. Hence, the need for the rare, and ono nap.

Western society teaches us to feel guilty after a nap. Sleep is for whimps, we learn. My European heritage twinges with a bit of guilt each time I steal a mini-snooze, but the Polynesian in me feels no remorse, only pleasure at the renewed energy I feel. Never mind the evidence of crusty saliva in the corner of my mouth, or the mark on my cheek that the pillow-fold left behind when I wake up. On this ship, I can proudly admit that I indulged. Nap-guilt is for whimps.

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