Day 8

Day 8 (Southwest Pass, LUMCON, New Orleans, and for a short time tonight Bourbon St.): Today started with the last few hours of work of the cruise, and this will be the last blog entry for this cruise. As the clock was ticking and our time to work was dwindling almost all hands were working for four hours to get a few last sites in before 0400 when we were scheduled to return to port. I will take time right here to go ahead and tell a few things about this particular cruise in retrospect. GUST erosional chamber experiments are quite lengthy, so time consuming the concept that 10 total experiments would make the juice worth the squeeze so to say for the research. As a goal that was not expected due to a last minute shortening of the cruise 20 GUST sites was the high number goal. Preston, Kyle, and Dr. Xu completed 28 GUST sites. When the math is done out this is near no breaks in experiments. A total of 68 box core sites were visited, again a very high number. This cruise was incredibly successful. The weather was incredible, almost no swell until the last few hours, albeit the Caribbean islands make a lee of sorts to hide behind in the northern gulf a Tropical Storm dissipated and turned direction completely about mid way through. We had a little luck with us this cruise. At about 0300 the last core of the cruise was a bittersweet sight to see hoisted onto the fantail for everyone. Kyle and Preston were still in the lab as per the usual working the GUST chambers. As everything got settled, sub sampled, X-radiographed, and analyzed the last GUST experiment took place. The Ship went pretty silent for the first time in about a week; the only people awake were a few students on the observation deck for the sunset, the ship watch and the lab still working the GUST chambers. At about 0800 the final GUST experiment was finished. To fully understand Preston and Kyle’s joy for this to be complete, the experiments are long, and their hours were late and numerous, nearly always delirious to operate the experiment could be quite frustrating at times, some choice words so colorful people may have written down for when they stub their toes were inevitably muttered by the duo. After a few hours of breaking down the system Kyle and Preston finally got about an hour of sleep before it was time to clean up the boat. Since we literally brought the muddy Mississippi on board everyone worked to clean up for the crew and make their job easier, and be courteous. We hit port at about 4 Pm and loaded up. Half the ECU crowd made it to Atlanta tonight and the other half is scheduled to leave in the morning, while The CCU trio made the way past New Orleans to LUMCON or the Louisiana University Marine Consortium to drop off gear for another research cruise in 7 days on the R/V Pelican. We dropped off the equipment and I am writing this entry on the way back to the hotel, the idea is we have any energy left to check out the French quarter in celebration of the cruises success and being back on land after all if you find yourself outside of a famous city, you are naturally compelled to check it out. However it is still like previously mentioned bittersweet, being out of contact with the outside world and the nature of being at sea is not something many people can do but for those whose careers and jobs deal with it will understand the part of us wanting to go back out and work. Tonight New Orleans, and tomorrow back to Conway, this has been an incredibly enriching and a tremendous learning experience and networking in the field experience, also great for a resume I want to thank Dr. Xu for presenting this opportunity, Dr. Walsh, Dr. Reide and the great crew of the R/V Cape Hatteras for making this possible. As much fun as research cruises are everyone is glad to be going home and back to shore. I do not claim to be a very eloquent writer and have no earthly idea how to wrap up this blog entry or blog and could go on and on, I will leave you with a quote that can describe today albeit non traditional still better than I can articulate so I will let him finish it; as ice cube once said “today seemed kind of odd, no barkin’ from the dogs, no smog… I must say. Today was a good day.”

Kyle St Clair ran the Gust chambers and helped with deck operations. Preston O’Brien-Gayes did the Filtrations of the colloidal sediments and sub sampling and helped with deck operations, Preston also wrote the entries.