The penultimate day of the cruise is upon us (and it came with little fanfare). The drifters have been deployed. The CTDs have been cast. The fresh fruit has been eaten. This morning, the outhouse was emptied and the meteorological-sensor mast was skeletonized. Afternoon excitement included fellow student Conor catching an almost three-foot blackfin tuna (which will become dinner) while heading towards the Tortugas. An especially noteworthy part of the catch was watching the ship’s engineer cut out the tuna’s heart (while it was still beating) and eat it. It was like watching the second Indiana Jones movie, but without Short Round or Steven Spielberg’s horrendous girlfriend. I’d like to tell you how jealous you should be right now, but I’ve reached my pun quota for the day, so we’ll just leave the story at that.
We are currently south of the Keys between Dry Tortugas and Marquesas, screaming along at 10 knots (that’s rather brisk for the Walton Smith; speed over water is typically 7 knots). The loop current has been kind to us thus far, and the idea is to ride it into the Gulf Stream. I don’t think a trip to Key West is in the cards for this journey. It’s just as well- I’m a bit eager to get back to Miami.
Because tomorrow looks to be a shortened day on the ship (the whole “arriving at dock” thing), now seems like just the time to do some “thank-yous.”
First- to GoMRI, for their funding and support of the Grand Lagrangian Deployment and CARTHE as a whole.
Second- to Drs. Ozgokmen and Haus (CARTHE director and GLAD chief scientist, respectively) for the organization and execution that made this experiment possible; to Julie Hollenbeck for her P.R. work (and for allowing me this online forum!).
Third- to Drs. Olascoaga, Reniers, Lipphardt, Bagucki, and Novelli; techs Mike and Mark; fellow students Matt and Conor (all the other scientists who shared the cruise), for a fun and enlightening experiment.
Finally- to Captain Lake; to Bill, Mike, Denis, Dave, Troy, and (of course) Lynn, for putting up with (and even enabling- yikes) our strange whims and requests.
Nathan Laxague signing off (I would say into the sunset, but we’re heading East, so use your imagination).