Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Beginning of the End

The final tinges of a beautiful Pacific sunset cast a beautiful backdrop on the final stages of our ten day cruise. Today we retrieved one of the last two deployed sediment traps. Although, instead of the quick bustle to redeploy, the net was honorably discharged and dismantled for its use in some future voyage. The last call, for marine waters, will come early tomorrow with the final deployment of the CTD at 0600. Once, we have retrieved the final sediment trap it is full steam ahead to Honolulu.

As the final experiments come to a close, we can confidently put some of our pre-cruise fears behind us. Initially, we feared that we might not collect sufficient quantities of sinking particulate matter in such a nutrient limited region of the ocean. Although, as we prepare to pack up samples, it appears that we will in fact have an abundant quantity of samples from which to extract supplementary data for our work on site.

Finally, to round out the day, some of the undergraduates, graduate students, and even a professor took a break from the packing of equipment. Part of working on a research vessel requires a degree of versatility, as the equipment on hand is never quite on par with what is truly required. It appeared that this afternoon, this creativity was channeled towards converting our packaging material into a portable spa!

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