May 22

Gulf of Mexico, somewhere on the vast Florida Shelf

The day started early. Students met at the Marine Science Center (supposedly) at 0645 to leave for FIO. However, there were some stragglers (i.e. Gabe). When Gabe pulled up in his stolen work truck at 0700, we knew this trip would be a doozy. 0715: arrival at FIO. Liam did not know where to park and settled for the middle of the alley. We arranged into our cabins and settled into life at sea. Gabe decided to go on a side quest to locate his close-toed shoes (which were back at Eckerd). Alas, the CTD was not functioning. Repairs commenced,  and departure was pushed from 0800 until approximately 1030. Students gathered outside and watched as St. Petersburg became nothing but a blur. Once we passed the Skyway bridge, we knew there was no turning back. Lunch was served at 1300- Rueben sandwichs. Several students took the opportunity to nap between lunch and dinner, as there was plenty of time to kill between home and our first stop. Dinner proved to be a worthy adversary- pasta. After everyone had eaten, Gabe returned for seconds, then thirds. Card games were played, books were read, and the sunset was watched. A sky full of stars was displayed in front of us as everyone watched in awe. Nighttime on the open ocean is a terrifying, yet calming presence. To be alone, on a tiny ship in the middle of the ocean, is a humbling reminder that we are tiny specks on a blue planet. When you think about it, we're all just little guys (@Kate).  

-Allison & Ariana