Batten down the hatches; we’re heading home. A myriad of inconveniences relating to currents and conditions have made the final GT-31 recovery a fool’s errand. As such, we are eastbound and down on the famous loop current. Next stop: Virginia Key. The day’s tasks have therefore been more of a bookkeeping/computer work nature. I had the duty of transferring the time and position data from the hand-written CTD logs into a computer spreadsheet. It isn’t exactly hair-raising work, but it’s necessary (and manageable with the right soundtrack- Dr. Bruce Lipphardt kept us supplied with Grateful Dead and Cat Stevens tunes throughout the morning). Other work has included working in MatLab on functions and scripts that will make sense of the other data (namely imaging). I highly recommend Dr. Billy V. Koen’s MatLab tutorial series. You can learn at your own pace (with step-by-step instruction).
Anyways, the french toast breakfast came as promised. I can’t say that I’ve ever had french toast made from challah and croissant slices before. I can say that it was wonderful, however. Sweet, dense, and buttery, it was the kind of treat you don’t expect to get on the last leg of a research trip with a limited pantry and 18 hungry mouths. The real maple syrup (none of that ‘pancake syrup’ garbage) deserves high marks as well.
As of 4:30 EDT, our ship is approximately 200 miles west of Punta Gorda. Hopefully we can avoid the 10-foot seas I heard have been developing in the NE Gulf region. Those would put hair on my chest- for all of F.G. Walton Smith’s charm, she wasn’t built for that kind of excitement. We’d probably lose anything that wasn’t bolted down (including our meals).
I’ve got some data management to do up in my little outhouse (no, it’s not a spare head- it’s just a deck-mounted ice-fishing hut that houses our shipboard data acquisition). That will require my abandonment of blogging duties for the day in favor of file transfers upstairs (don’t worry- Western Digital does most of the heavy lifting). Thank you for your continued readership on even this most mundane of days.
Nathan Laxague signing off (somewhere between some task or another and watching fellow Nathan Nathan Adrian winning gold for USA in the 100m freestyle).