Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Thanks and see you next time ...

As you have likely guessed, our mission has concluded with a flurry and most of the science party is variously back in Honolulu or off on further adventures making use of their well earned leave. The final days of the cruise were busy but full of new sights and adventures. We had a few days of wind which made the waters a bit choppy, but nothing more than we are used to. Just enough to remind us how well we were treated by the weather this year. It was truly amazing. Over a research cruise of any length but especially one this long, it is the weather that is the first to sap both strength and moral. There is nothing worse than pounding through heavy seas and driving spray day after day after day. Add rain and cold to the mix and you've made yourself something not al all approaching the heavenly bliss we were treated to this year. I really cannot stress that enough. I might even go as far as to say the weather made of for the non-stop rotation of tuna and egg salad that seemed to greet us for lunch the entire last month of the trip. That was a bit of a downer. The Hi'ialakai has always been the ship we looked forward to sailing with in large part due to the phenomenal cooking of the chief steward, Alan Gary. We're still not exactly sure what happened with the lunches this year. Oh well, small gripes in the end.

After our last days at Ascencion and Guguan we had and overnight steam to Saipan and then a lovely two days in port which most of us, I can happily say survived. Several of us spent a good part of the time relaxing in the pool at the Hyatt before pacing our gear and getting ready for the trip home which was long, but otherwise uneventful.

I am now back in Honolulu. Jake, Jamie and several others have headed off to Palau and Indonesia for surfing and, can you believe it, more diving! Will we never stop. We will spend the next several months consolidating, checking and analyzing our data and should have a report out in due course. We are happy to be home, but will miss the Wake, the Marianas and all the beauty they hold.

At the close, I want to thank each and every one of you for your readership, thoughts and comments during our cruise. All told we have over 1,491 visitors who logged on to hi0701.blogspot.com 2,834 times. That is incredible and very touching. We have had readers from:

  • The United States
  • Canada
  • The Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands
  • Guam
  • Germany
  • The Philippines
  • The United Kingdom
  • Mali
  • American Samoa
  • Hong Kong
  • The Netherlands
  • Slovenia
  • Turkey
  • Switzerland
  • Kuwait
  • Indonesia
  • Sweden
  • South Korea
  • China.
Thanks to each and every one of you. Thanks to all of the scientists and thanks to the wonderful officers and crew of the NOAA Ship Hi'ialakai. As always, this cruise would not have been possible without their steadfast dedication, patience and understanding.

With that we are off. Please check www.oceanben.com/expeditions for future expeditions around the Pacific. See you there ...


At 5:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks Ben for keeping this blog for all of us so we could concentrate on the cruise! You did a great job!! Hope to work with you guys again really soon!


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