Last day of the cruise

by Penny Holliday

The view from my cabin window is no longer miles of empty sea and sky, but instead is a giant container ship docking in a neighbouring berth in the port of Immingham. After a short few days of steaming around Scotland and into the North Sea, we have finally reached our end port. On the way we enjoyed some fabulous scenery and also enjoyed a noisy, exuberant party to celebrate the achievements of the cruise.

We have also spent the last few days packing up, finalising our data sets and writing the cruise report. The report will list all the things we have done, the methods we used to do them, and some notes on the quality of our data. It’s never much fun writing a cruise report, but it becomes an invaluable source of information when it comes to analysing data later on. You know you have really finished your work when that has been done and given to the principal scientist!

I think we have every right to be very proud of what we have achieved on this cruise. We have met all of our scientific aims in that we have made a complete CTD section through the North Atlantic Subpolar Gyre, something that has never been done before. And we have done it in style, collecting a full set of chemistry data to go with the physical measurements, and creating a data set that is unique, of the highest quality and will be analysed for many years to come. I cant wait to get started with my plans for the data… well, maybe after I get back from a holiday with my family.

Cruises are more than just collections of data of course; we will all leave the ship with new friends and new memories. Everyone on board has worked really hard to make sure we get the most out of the opportunities that the cruise has presented us with. The ship’s staff have been fantastic in so many ways and we couldn’t have done so well without their hard work and help.

Tomorrow the scientists leave the ship and head home. There may be a slight tinge of sadness about leaving the ship when we have had such an enjoyable cruise, but that cant put much of a dent in the happy feeling of going home.

This is the last daily blog post from me on this cruise, but I will continue to add to the blog by posting photos and movies that we plan to make from the masses of film footage we took during the cruise. There will be more UK OSNAP cruises and so the daily posts will return for those. In the meantime, you can catch our with other OSNAP scientists at sea at www.o-snap.org

Images: The science party of JR302 (by Sinhue Torres Valdes). Other photos by Penny Holliday: the best views of our approach into Immingham are from the monkey island; Immingham mainly looks very industrial but there is beauty there too; the entrance to our basin is through a lock; the aft deck is covered by our boxes waiting to be unloaded by crane tomorrow.

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