We Blogged It!
Port of Barbados
The morning came way too soon after the intense activity of packing the day before. Tired bones groaned their displeasure. But everyone shared the same thought as the ship glided smoothly over the sea: today our feet touch land!! That alone got us going :)
I managed to get ready and up on deck as the sun began its climb in the morning sky. There it was: terra firma!! We had come full circle! At daybreak Barbados was only a couple of mounds of land in the distance, but it was a welcome sight that brought grins of pleasure to all of us looking at it! Even as we approached and eased into the port, we all knew we still had lots to do before we could begin to relax. So we dug our heels in to get the job done.
The large vans were loaded with the last of the crates, boxes and equipment, ready to be transferred to the dock. Containers of precious samples of seawater and sediment were off-loaded to waiting express mail trucks. Inside, the now-empty labs were cleaned and given the once-over (again). Anyone who already hadn’t, scurried around to clean their cabins and pack their bags.
I took a step back and took it in. It was a bittersweet moment. This great adventure was over. We had formed a strong team of crew and scientists, working together for a common goal. We had covered a large area of the Amazon Plume and the open ocean. We had highs and we had lows; we bonded and formed friendships that span the continental US and foreign soil; and we saw some amazing things. That part was hard to let go.
But that same excitement of all we had experienced would now go home with each of us to share with families, friends, and colleagues. Home sounded great!
There will be another post soon on this voyage- a summary of the science that was accomplished. Thanks to all of you who traveled with us and sent us your questions and comments along the way (I’m still answering questions!)
For you, thoughts from the last night at sea:
The sea is gentle tonight,
caressing the soul with its’ soothing, fluid movement.
Swells flicker like fireflies in the moonshine.
The calm belies its’ potential.
But tonight... it whispers its' goodbye.
Question of the Day
- Do the bacteria in the water make us sick?
Only a few of them. Bacteria are in every habitat on Earth, growing in soil, hot springs, radioactive waste, water, as well as in organic matter and the live bodies of plants and animals. Bacteria recycle nutrients, with many steps in nutrient cycles depending on these organisms, such as nitrogen fixation.