It has been a month now since we got back to the UK from the cruise. My first thought on coming back was ‘Everything is so green’! We have all been working hard to process and understand the data collected during the cruise and readjust to life back on dry land.
The last week of science was pretty full on! We had lots of CTDs to sample, samples to run, drifters and floats to release, huge cruise reports to write... all with the building excitement of approaching land!
|Kim and Heather still enjoy sampling!|
We released a load of drifters as we passed through Shag Rocks Passage. These are big round floats attached to a drough which catch in the currents and track where they flow. We all got very excited decorating and naming the drifters and look forward to following our ones as they travel through the ocean over the next couple of years. If you want to find out more have a look here: http://www.aoml.noaa.gov/phod/dac/index.php
|Andrew with the drifter he named for his wife (photo by Kim)|
A drifter carefully being released into the ocean (photo by Ellen)
Things stayed hectic when we arrived in Stanley, our last port of call. We were trying to finish the science and ‘demob’ - packing everything up, sorting out Bill of Ladings (official shipping documents) and figure out what would get shipped and what would fly home. It was quite an emotional time as well; everyone was so excited to be back on dry land, heading home, but also sad to be parting ways with all the amazing people we had been working so closely with. Stanley is a lovely wee town which we had fun exploring; making times to stretch our legs on glorious solid ground and spend all our savings on penguin souvenirs.
Here are a few numbers from the cruise;
- 1840 DIMES tracer samples analysed (not counting duplicates or standards!)
- 1036 CFC samples collected for analysis back in the UK
- 119 CTD casts
- 135 hydrographic stations
- 29 amazing crew
- 22 spectacular scientists and technicians
- 52 days
….And so much fun!
There are definitely a few things I don’t miss about being at sea (12 hour shifts is certainly one of them!) however I do miss the camaraderie of the cruise. It is really quite a special experience working closely with a group of lovely folk who are similarly enthused and motivated, all working towards the same grand goal.
Here is something to look out for; Katy and I are nearly finished the documentary film we are making about the cruise!