Whoa, we are in Iceland. Our thirty days at sea are over. This is the sappy wrap up post, so I'll try to keep the poetic waxing to a minimum.
In the last 30 days, the scientists aboard the R/V Knorr have woken up early, gone to bed late, collected data, fought about which condiments were superior, eaten (a lot), sampled, sequenced, read, broke, fixed and finagled. They worked through setbacks, like a bearcat attack on some of our instruments, and shared excitement, like when they found a bloom. There were tense moments, but overall no one punched anyone else and everybody's pride seems to be, mostly, intact.
And, often behind the scenes, the crew of the R/V Knorr made everything possible. Without them we would have no food, water or scientific equipment. They put up with our wacky route, hauled in and tossed out our gear, taught us new card games, and patiently answered when I pointed at about a million things and said "what's that do?"
Of course, much of the work remains ahead. The scientists have collected thousands of samples that will take months to analyze. When they get back to port in Woods Hole they'll have to unload much of the equipment and gear from the ship. Then, they'll have to see just what the data will show them about the trip, beyond the basic measurements they could do on board. They're hoping to learn more about the different eddies they sampled, and why there seemed to be big differences between them.
It makes sense to recap now what we've learned here on the blog. First, you met me, your guide. Then you met the organisms the scientists are studying: Ehux and the virus that infects it. You met the machines and techniques they're using to find and gather samples: satellites and the CTD. You heard about our daily routines, the miracles of the kitchen, and the history of the ship. And finally you met a bunch of the scientists doing the work. But there's a lot of things you didn't hear about, scientists and crew you didn't get to see, moments of discovery that went un-blogged.
Some of those things will find their way to you in the future, when the scientists process their work. Others simply aren't bloggable - late nights playing Pictionary, the way the water moves around the boat like its traveling on the backs of elephants, or the look in Daniella's eyes when someone says "whale." Those are the parts of the adventure that don't get written down.
My biggest piece of advice from this trip? Go find an adventure of your own. I highly recommend it.
Without any further sentiment, here are some of my favorite pictures of the trip. Thanks so much for traveling with us.