7-29-2010: New (uprighted) video loaded on "Nitty Gritty" :)

Thursday, August 26, 2010


WooHoo! The countdown to the end of the expedition has started! Having only 10 days until we reach port, though, is both exciting (for we'd like to be home already) and distressing (because we have so much to do still!) Despite how tired we are at this point, we're still in the full swing of science. Today, we're starting an experiment in a borehole to test pressure and fluid flow before we install the last CORK. That experiment will take 24 hours then we'll start putting together our microbiology experiments and get them ready to go down in the hole. Busy busy busy!

We've started to prepare for the end of the cruise already - 10 days is going to fly by before we know it and we need to have all our paperwork ready when we reach port. So, packing boxes are out and our inbox is filled with all kinds of forms - customs, shipping, and accounting - to close out our shipboard work and get ready to ship everything home.

As for my personal things, I just recently did my last load of ship laundry! Ship laundry can be harsh on clothes and I'm very pleased to report that my garments are neither threadbare nor are they too small - both of which were worries of mine when the expedition started. I've already packed a few things too - stuff that I know I won't need in the next 10 days. (How many hours is that?)

We're all very ready to come home but we still have 9 science days and 1 transit day to finish it all up so we're going to be very busy down the home stretch. That includes all our cruise reports! Eek!! The catering crew on board has been awesome at keeping us nourished with a variety of foods so that morale doesn't plummet in the last few weeks. For instance, we still have lettuce and tomatoes!! We ran out of fresh and canned fruit around week 6 (much later in the cruise than we all expected) but we still have a few fresh veggies in the salad bar. This is absolutely astonishing! I guess that special refrigerator is living up to its reputation of keeping veggies fresh for a long time!

I'll try to write an entry every day up until we reach port to give you an idea of what we're doing to finish up our work here and get ready for our land legs. Stay tuned as the days fly by! Who knows, we may still have lettuce when we reach port. No, wouldn't that really be a shocker?! :)

Stay tuned.


  1. Hello, Amanda!
    We're excited for your countdown and can tell that you're going to be very busy in the days ahead. Our journal assignment today was to write some questions to ask you as you get ready to sail home. Here are a few:
    Do you like whales? Yes or no.
    Is if foggy over there?
    What's the first thing you're going to do when you get home?
    Do you like working on the ship?
    I know you're all happy to come home and visit your house because you haven't visited your house for awhile. What kind of food will you eat when you come back to your home? (What will your first meal be?)
    Are you keeping the ROV's and the kites?
    Did you see any other sea creatures on your trip?

    Thanks for answering our questions!

  2. OH, I love the questions! Thanks for sending them! Here're my answers:

    --Do you like whales?
    Very much! They're magnificent creatures. So big yet so elegant as they swim and spray through their blowhole to breath. Just beautiful to see out here in their natural environment.

    --Is it foggy over there?
    Yes, some days (like yesterday), it was so foggy you couldn't see the horizon. Other days are clear as a bell. I've noticed that it gets foggier in the evening as it cools down. Hm. I wonder if the temperature has anything to do with it....

    --What's the first thing you're going to do when you get home?
    Mmm Eat! I can't wait to take off my shoes, plop down on my futon and order pizza delivery then catch up on the news and what has happened while I've been out at sea. Then crash in my comfy bed! :)

    --Do you like working on a ship?
    Yes, I do. It's a once-in-a-lifetime experience to be able to do science at sea. I am continually shocked by how much we can do on a ship and by how much science we can accomplish. Totally awesome!

    --What kind of food will you eat when you come back to your home?
    You're right. I will be ecstatic to be home and see my apartment again. I miss it a lot. For food, oh, I just want to eat everything! :) I plan on ordering pizza the night I get home but I've got a long list of foods I'd like to eat that will probably take me a week to get through. I would love stuff like fresh watermelon and mexican food with guacamole and pico de gallo and hot wings and fresh veggie salad with home-made italian dressing. Oh, I'm getting hungry! Better stop for now. :)

    --Are you keeping the ROVs and the kites?
    No, unfortunately. The ROVs are going to be part of a program in Monterey Bay that involves high school students. The kites are going home with their owners. I didn't make a kite for the competition - I only judged it. But it does make me want to build one when I get home! Wouldn't that be fun?!

    --Did you see any other sea creatures on your trip?
    Yes, from the deck of the boat, we've seen a few eels, a sunfish, a school of shiney silver fish (don't know what they are but they were pretty), some jumping fish, a shark, a few whales, several sea birds and some porpoises. In the drill string cameras, we've seen lots of sea creatures - an eel and lots of little fish.