Dale, the Captain, at work. He and the Chief Mate, Bobby, and the Second Mate, Larry, helped us get where we needed to go and sample the seabed.
Tina (left, Marine Tech), Mark (center, Chief Enginner), and Robert (right, Asst. Engineer) stand ready to help with docking...and are glad to get rid of us! The were all always will to help answer questions or fix equipment.
Bob, the Steward, serves up a meal of yummy smoked ham for dinner.
Stephen, an Able Seaman, along with the other deck crew, John (theBosun) and Mark (a fill-in Able Seaman), kept a careful watch on the deck operations...and also helped with keep everything clean with the hose!
It was a pleasure to return to the Gulf of Mexico and specifically to work aboard the R/V Cape Hatteras. The weather cooperated, making the seabed sampling easy, and the Captain and crew helped us collect all the samples we could in the short time we were allocated. The students worked tremendously hard, and Bob, the Steward, kept us well fed and hydrated. It was a very successful trip, and we now have an impressive number of samples to investigate the record of the Mississippi River flood and other events (e.g., Hurricane Katrina) that have impacted the Gulf system.
Once we hit the dock our stuff was packed and ready for unloading. What took us days to set up and collect, was packed into our vehicles within a couple hours. We have a long drive back, but we're glad were returning with a large load of samples!
I'll wrap up the blogging for this cruise by saying a huge thanks to Dale (the Captain who oversaw the mud mayhem and effortlessly guided us to many sites including those in some tough locations), Bobby and Larry (the Mates who navigated us to countless core locations and helped us sample the many sites), Mark and Robert (the Engineers who kept the ship running smoothly and the A/C pumping!...both are critical in the Gulf!), Bob (the Steward who filled our bellies with many meals), Tina (the Marine Tech who ressurected the CTD and assisted with our many needs), and of course, John, Steve and Mark (who worked with closely on deck, watching for our safety and tolerating our muddy mess, and all the while did this with smiles and a sense of humor). The Cape Hatteras is a special ship, which can really do it all, from coring sites where a person can stand (almost) to sampling the water and seabed at great depths. One of the reason the ship is so capable is the experienced, hard-working and amiable crew. I also need to thank the fabulous group of students who worked long hours on this cruise and made the trip extra enjoyable. Additionally, my co-investigators were a pleasure to go to sea with, and I hope we can find future opportunities to work together. THANKS! J.P.