Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Cruise Complete!

Gareth here. We arrived today in Port Hueneme, California, just north of LA. The cruise was an enormous success. We managed to survey a total of 34 stations, out of a planned 31! The success of the cruise wouldn't have been possible without the outstanding efforts of Captain Ian Lawrence and the New Horizon's crew, as well as our Scripps Institution of Oceanography Resident Technicians Meghan Donohue and John Calderwood (and Dan Schuller for Leg I), and we are very appreciative of their efforts.

Wire and plastic cages in the van [Photo: P. Wiebe]
Installing the VPR into the van [Photo: P. Wiebe]

After a few days of packing while in transit, our gear will soon be en route for Woods Hole: a truck picked up our storage van, our ethanol-preserved samples are traveling via refrigerated truck, some frozen samples are headed via cryo-pack, and some seawater samples are being driven up to Santa Barbara for nutrient analysis. The science party will soon be dispersing, heading to their various homes.

From left to right: Gareth Lawson, Peter Wiebe, Taylor Crockford, Liza Roger, Amy Maas, Leo Blanco Bercial, Nancy Copley, Aleck Wang, Nick Tuttle, Katherine Hoering, Sophie Chu, Alex Bergan, Tom Bolmer, Elliott Roberts, Meghan Donohue, Kelly Knorr. [Photo: John Calderwood]

We all feel an enormous sense of accomplishment and I am very proud of our team. A few numbers to put the magnitude of this project in perspective:

Distance we traveled: 5269 nautical miles (6063 conventional miles)
Amount of fuel we burned: 40,476 gallons
Number of days we spent at sea: 34 days
Approximate cost of that shiptime: Somewhere around $800,000
Number of blog hits: 5,348

I'll sign off for now with a very nice movie Liza Roger made of a Cavolinia uncinata. This pteropod was about 1 1/2 cm long. You can see by how it moves why they're called sea butterflies, and hopefully can see why we find these animals so charismatic.

Tune in again soon for our next field effort!


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