What a change in mood from yesterday! Last night, we were all chanting "Last core! Last core!" when, at 10:45pm, our last core of the expedition came on deck. It was very hectic in the last hours of coring. We had two cores less than an hour apart with 19 - 22 samples each! We were definitely got our work out running up and down the stairs trying to process our samples fast enough not to disturb the microbes living in the sediment.
As soon as we arrived in the lab with our last samples, we started decompressing - cleaning up the lab, processing and washing the last samples, autoclaving (sterilizing) the last of the tools we'll need, finalizing notes and getting all that mud off our hands and work area. I finished processing the samples around 4am this morning and crashed! I slept until noon when the steward knocked on my door waiting to clean our room. SOO nice to just sleep knowing all the science is done! :)
We started back to port around 9 this morning. We're going slow so that the drill rig crew has enough time to clean up the drill floor and the moon pool areas. Look how efficient they are - they already have the platform for the gangway in place! They've been working so hard!!
Today is a gorgeous day! Blue skies, scattered clouds and a nice cool breeze.
Lots of activities today to celebrate our last day at sea. Stephanie premiered her CORK animation today in the movie She's our resident graphic artist and part of the outreach team. We also have a fashion show scheduled for this afternoon on the catwalk for all those who made fabric-y things on board with one of our scientists, Katie. Check out my cool JR vest! It's still in progress but I like it so far. Bejonty made my microbe hat. Thanks BJ!
We're all very chipper today as opposed to yesterday when we were all asking each other "Are we there yet?" We're all VERY excited to be underway, to pack up our things and to know that we'll be on land in less than 24 hours! And can you believe that after 63 days, we still have lettuce and lemons?!
It's going to be a busy day today too as we all scramble to get our data and e-mails off the server and pack our personal belongings. Oh, but what a change in mood in less than 12 hours! I can only imagine what stepping off the gangway will do for our spirits. :)