May 26

Smack dab in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico: 1800 

The night shift started late? early? Who knows. All I know is I was drinking my morning coffee at 6 PM. Following a dinner of freshly-caught grouper, courtesy of the fisheries crew, the mud crew got to work quickly. We sent the multi-core to 1500m depth as site DSH-10. After three attempts at retrieval, we collected sediment with 6 out of 7 cores filled with wonderfully cold mud. Students were allowed to control the lines on the multicore deployment and retrieval, so we are all now multi-core experts. Between multicore deployments, the CTD was cast and Niskin bottles were filled. Because we ran out of caps for the water bottles, this was our last cast of the CTD for this leg. Cores were processed and the deck was cleaned as we began our three-hour transit to DS1000, a site that had never been collected. We arrived at the site around 0300, ready to send the trusty multicore down once again, but the weather had different plans... six-foot waves prohibited us from sending the multicore down. We tried to use the SHIPEK to do a surface sediment grab, but three unsuccessful tries proved the water was even too rough for that. Twelve hours later, the night shift was over and the fisheries crew began their takeover. As I groggily took my much needed shower and finally crawled into my rocking bed, I realized the comedy of waking up to the sunset and going to sleep with the sunrise.