by graduate student Alison
Sipe, University of Delaware College of Marine Studies.
The cruise is winding down. We are
now steaming at 13 knots toward our port stop in Manzanillo.
Most people have completed their research on the boat, except
those people who are growing bacteria and will continue
to do so until the last minute when they must leave the
ship. Most other people spent the day organizing their science
gear so that it fit neatly into the bright red and blue
shipping crates for their travels back to their universities.
Others took the time to enjoy the warm sun and mingle on
the bow of the ship.
The cruise ping-pong tournament is in full swing. The table
is nestled in the main lab, just in front of a computer
work station where Susan
Humphries and Dan
Fornari have front row seats to the games and at the
same time work around the clock on their Dive and Discover
educational Web site (http://science.whoi.edu/DiveDiscover
). There is just enough room around the table for an intense
game of ping-pong to be played.
Ping-pong is a real hit on the ship. The double elimination
tournament consists of both champion and consolation rounds.
The matches have proceeded throughout the cruise, depending
on when people can pull away from their labwork or have
completed their four-hour watch on the bridge. The championship
game will have to be completed tomorrow before we dock.
Watch out for graduate student Luis
Tonight was also the cruise cook-out on the fantail. Our
cook, Jay, served up grilled shrimp, ribs, chicken, salads,
corn, jello, and bread pudding. It was a great opportunity
for the scientists and crew to chat about the great experiences
they have had at sea. There was a sense of accomplishment
for a well-designed and productive research cruise. At the
same time, people are looking forward to getting back on
land. We will stay in Manzanillo for one night, although
I wish it were longer. Manzanillo is sunny with palm trees,
savory food, and welcoming people. One of the fabulous aspects
of being involved in field research is that you are lucky
enough to see many interesting places in the world. These
are some of my most cherished memories.