May 25 - Leg 2

Celeste Soliz

The ride to Pensacola wasn't too bad, I did sleep almost the entire way through so that could have been a factor as to why the ride went so smoothly. When we arrived at 1040 at the boat it was almost a bittersweet experience because we have been working up to this moment for months, so to be able to finally step foot onto the boat was a great experience, it's the little things like that that I feel is going to make this trip worthwhile. This is my first every hands-on research opportunity here at Eckerd or anywhere else and I'm happy to state that this is already my favorite opportunity out of the many years to come. The whole boat crew were nice and very helpful from the minute we stepped foot on the boat, and Doug's food is delicious! Overall, I have had a great first impression of the team im working with, whether that be the student team or boat crew, and can't wait to see what else comes out off this trip. After our shift started at 1800, later that night at 0100 we prepared on deck operations for multicorer and CTD use. Whenever trying something completely new and out of your area of expertise, it can be very intimidating depending on how you're taught that certain thing. However, the first time using the multicore and CTD was not intimidating at all due to the very precise and well articulated instruction we were given by Schwing, Larson, and the boat crew that helped in the process of lowering the machinery. The first two deployments of the multicorer at DSH08 were unsuccessful and thought to have been triggered in the water column. However, third time's a charm, the third deployment was successful in retrieving sediment from all but one core. In between the two deployments some of the student crew and I went to the bow to admire the sky full of stars without light pollution, and also see the ecosystem that flourishes at night, such as squid zooming by, sargassum everywhere, flying fish, and other shadowy figures on the surface. I have to say my favorite experience so far was being able to see the Milky way, even though I  kept questioning if it was clouds or not because I was not convinced it was the real deal.

May 25th-May 26th

Casper Graham

On May 25 at 0400 we started the ride to Pensacola from Eckerd College. It was long but I slept the whole time, so for me it went by fairly quickly. We got to port at 1040 and switched crews. We spend a while at the port reviewing safety information and getting settled in. Once we started moving I got sea sick almost immediately I really didn't realise how much the boat rocks. Unfortunately I couldn't eat dinner because of it and just when to sleep. I got a few hours of sleep and woke up later feeling much better. I was able to eat what was left of the dinner for a midnight snack. Doug's cooking was so good, I loved the pasta and garlic bread. That night I felt like a kid on Christmas eve because I was so excited to deploy the first multi core I couldn't fall back asleep. We reached the site at around 0130 and deployed the multicore. It took us three tries to successfully get a sample, we think this is because the rough weather conditions caused the corer to trigger in the water column. Once we had the samples on deck we worked to process them all for the different analysis. I processed the foram core which involved subsampling the core in 1 cm increments into a bottle with isopropyl alcohol. We finished our shift on May 26 at 0600. I watched the sunrise  and ate pancakes for breakfast. The first day alone we saw so many amazing things like bright red squid chasing flying fish and the milky way! The crew and science team have been so friendly and amazing to work with. had so much fun and learned so much already, I can't wait for what's to come.