May 25 - Leg 1

Aidan 0900 hours

As the rays over the water from the morning sun cut through the clouds of a new dawn, the crew slumbers silently. For the labor of the last three days has caught up to their rosy sunburnt faces. This morning is not a morning of science, but a morning of rest. A morning of silent breakfasts, of packing, and of solemn goodbyes to the crew. The ship slowly creaks back and forth. A sad whine to see such students it has come to love depart. As the ship makes its way to dock we have nothing more to say. We have seen, researched, conquered, and forgotten today was Aidan's birthday.

Allison 0921 hours

Woke up recently- terrible sleep last night. We can see land now. The second leg is supposed to be in Pensacola at noon ET, but our ETA is an hour or so before that. We have stripped the beds, gathered our belongings, and are ready for the next aspect of this adventure- driving 7 hours to St. Pete. We all need a shower (this is the first time anyone has been excited to shower in West Lodge). Last night, we gathered in the galley and watched Blue Planet. We learned that male organisms in the deep sea can be up to ten times smaller than their female counterparts. The male will attach himself to the female, eventually becoming part of her (even part of her blood stream), entirely dependent upon her for food. In return, the female gets a plentiful supply of sperm. It's pretty wild to think that we were sending equipment down to the depths of these creatures, and for a moment, we were part of their ecosystem. This research cruise has been an incredible experience. We have all learned so much and enjoyed the company of one another in the process. While it will feel good to get back to normal life (and to land), we will all remember these past three days as an integral part of our learning experience at Eckerd. 

Ariana 0933

Students are ready for another long day ahead. Over 7 hours in the cramped van await the unsuspecting students. Students are now connected back to the internet. Cheers of glee erupt from some students, while cries of despair erupt from other. It is time to go back to the world of email and identifying forams. Last night's rough water have caused many things to shift aboard the ship. The waves removed Gabe from his bed and a cooler was lost at sea. Luckily, a Professor Brooks was unharmed when his bunkmate expelled from his bed. All seem well in the morning, although unhappy to be awake.

Sasha 0947

It has been a long 3 days exploring the mud of the Gulf of Mexico. It will be a bittersweet goodbye to our dear Weatherbird as we welcome the next crew of students and scientists to take our place. Little do they know, the rough seas from yesterday are only expected to continue. The CTD garage and myself are now very good friends. It has been my second home on this cruise and I hope whoever finds themselves sick on the next leg are as comforted by it as I was. I can now say that I have puked over the side of the Weatherbird and my stomach is really happy to see land again! 

Essie 1000 hours

LAND HO! It is extremly refreshing to see something other than water all around me. I would love to do something like this again, but I like have short spurts of it. I'm not sre if I could handle 11 days straight. Allison is standing right behind me reading every word I am typing.  Next time, I will bring something other than crocs, so my feet don't feel perpetually wet. I will also remember a water bottle. Thankful for these wonderful people I was with because I laughed a-lot. And felt nauseous a lot. We played golf with cards (the four card version EW) and I did my jewel painting for a bit. Never finshed. Did finish two books tho. Jimmy is currently wearing a monochrome pink/purple outfit and mismatched tall socks. However, his dogs are now out because he just took them off, unfortunately.  A word of advice, do not tan on the front of the ship. You will burn ur skin from the heat of the ship. Love you. kisses xoxoxox 

Selby 1007 

It has been quite an interesting experience being at sea for the first time. Even through the bouts of seasickness and looming dark clouds the cruise was very successful. The sunsets were beautiful and the stars were so very clear. I never realized there were so many satellites until I saw 15 of them pass in a row. Waking up this morning was eventful. Missed breakfast and had to pack everything. When heading outside I was surprised to see we were once again surrounded by land. I think I will miss the sea. It was calming to be surrounded by nothing and not have to worry about my phone going off. I hope the next leg finds themselves as comforted by the sea as I was. 

Jimmy 1020 hours

There were no golden slumbers last night. At least for me. I awoke at various times throughout the night with no hope of falling back asleep. I missed breakfast, a favorite meal of Brooks, and was rudely awoken by the apish chanting of my cabin mates. Nonetheless, today we go back homeward. Maybe tonight, after some golden slumbers, I can awake tomorrow with smiles and gratitude (not that I don't have that already). SAS fo life.