We left our CORK site today and headed off to our last study site, Grizzly Bare. The drill crew is tired from 55+ days straight of work but they're trying their best to get us through the last 5 science days. Usually, expeditions involve ~30 days of transit split up throughout the cruise so the guys get to rest for a few days after working hard for about a week. This expedition, though, we've only had 2.5 days of transit so they've really been working overtime. And we are very thankful for all they've done for us.
After sitting at our CORK sites for 53 days or so, we were very thankful to hear the anticipated "Thrusters Up" call over the PA that signaled we were off to our last site. It was nice to feel the boat move and to feel the wind in our face. Funny thing is that the transit made the boat rock more than we've been used to so we were all bumping into the walls in the hallway. It's like we had to get our sea legs all over again.
Now that we've reached our site, the drilling crew is back to the rig floor assembling our coring and drilling pipe so that we can core the sediment and the hard rock underneath. No rest for the wicked. This is the home stretch of a long cruise and it's taking all that the drillers have to press ahead and get the job done. And we scientists are pulling out every ounce of energy we have left to handle our upcoming samples properly and to do our science well. After all, this may be the only opportunity we have to do this science here.
Yesterday, we voted on our expedition logo that will be printed on t-shirts. The winning logo actually came from one of the drillers not the scientific party. He did a great job including all aspects of the cruise (even the microbes!) and we're all very pleased with the design! And today was our Operations Superintendent's birthday. He's an extremely important person on this expedition so we were all happy to celebrate his birthday with cake and coffee. :) Speaking of food, gotta go! It's time for dinner. I bet they still have lettuce!
Stay tuned! 134 hours 'til land!!