The ship approaches the Bahamas once more, heading for Freeport where the scientists and technicians shall disembark. For this exceptionally long cruise, the end is a strange feeling. We are on day 47/48, and you can certainly tell going by the state of some of the scientists! Lots of long and busy days and nights, even a fair amount of steaming with little to do takes its toll. We are certainly all looking forward to stepping back on land with all the luxuries that come with it.
We deployed our last mooring early this morning, and it was actually raining… the only mooring we have had to do in the rain. But it was only a quick one - just lob it over the side (gently with a crane). All our data processing is complete, the cruise report is ready, and most importantly, we have the updated MOC time series! It looks beautiful. It is certainly very rewarding to see the last 18 months of data added on as a consequence of all the hard work done by the whole of the ships crew.
|Tension and excitement reached fever pitch in the main lab as the new MOC timeseries is produced.|
Lets not forget that as well as the end of this cruise, it is the end for RRS Discovery. She did her last CTD this morning, we had estimated it was the last of the thousands of CTDs she has performed in her lifetime. Her final job will be to sail the crew back to Southampton. 50 years at sea is certainly an impressive feat, and we are all honored to be a part of her last voyage! So whilst the new RAPID array looms in the dark, we look forward to seeing more unique data from deep in the Atlantic Ocean in 18 months time.
Alex, Rafael, Charlotte, Ben, Darren, David and Gerard
|The crew, technicians and scientists of Discovery Cruise 382–Disco's Last Dance|