Very short blog today. Woke up for breakfast and leaped straight into action working with Leighton who then worked with Captain Heiko and Lars to innovate a new working bench into existence in the Hangar where Cindy and Max can sort and sample their shrimp (and hopefully mussel) collections from the forthcoming cruise. There simply wasn’t room in the wet lab to fit any more work in there once we already had Chip, Julie #1, Julie-deux, Sean, Jeff and Jill in there working.
But the other lab space, where Ko-ichi was set up on Leg 1 was down below decks and not a great place to have to carry buckets of animals and seawater to after every dive. Happily, Leighton, Lars and the ship’s crew very quickly and effectively put things together so now all the scientists for Leg 2 have room to work and are ready for the off. The rest of the morning was spent downloading and getting ready to look through the ~2,500 photographs that Nereustook from one dive on Leg 1. Happily, I have Cindy on ship to look at these with me now – and she and I spent many happy hours (days!) doing exactly that on her telepresence cruise with AUV Sentry on the NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer last year so it was immediately just like old times – even before we left port!
This afternoon I spent some time with Casey sketching out where we think all the different kinds of science gear might fit best on ROVNereus’ basket and then met with the whole science team to plan out our prioirties for the dives to come, both at the shallow Von Damm site that we will head to first and at the deeper Piccard hydrothermal field.
All too soon it was time to prepare for the ship’s departure and to say farewell and bon voyage to the Scientists and Nereus engineers who will be leaving us at the end of Leg 1. Mat and Thiago from Falkorhad left earlier and I am sad that I missed saying goodbye to them but Thiago, at least, will be famous forever as the first person I ever filmed in movie mode (See Blog 2).
First off the boat was Cody – this was a momentous occasion: his first landfall after his first voyage to sea. He may be a late starter but, as such a natural (he instinctively seemed to know that the way to escape from a ship is NOT to try tunneling out), I am sure that he will be back before long. Then, in response to the Captain’s announcement “those going ashore should do so now as we are ready to raise the gangplank” it was time for the core of the escape committee to depart: Ko-ichi (already in full vacation camouflage), Mike, Daniel and Loral from the Nereus team and Bruno who flew in and stayed one night only, just to help set up our new Deep Sea Challenger camera systems.
But wait, there had been no sighting of Meg all day, nor Eoghan (pronounced Awesome when he ordered rum with his breakfast at his hotel this morning). Didn’t they have the decency to come and see us off??? The mangy curs!!! Little did I know that they were about to redeem themselves ☺