25 March, 2001
There are two hums going on in the ship: the consistent hum of the engine and then a new hum... the hum of people preparing to leave. The first two days out from Antarctica, we bustled around packing up our valuable sediment. The long cores from the jumbo piston core are being sent on to Puenta Arenas on the ship in a refrigerated cargo container. From there they will head back to the States and this summer many of the scientists will meet to open the jumbo piston cores liners to see for the first time what is inside. Other sediments are being boxed up and sent home from South Africa. All of these things plus personal computers and equipment needs to be weighed, labeled and cataloged.
Then there are maps. Our watch station turned into a map room as scientists and students poured through the stack of maps generated by the thousands of ping edits we had done. These maps are to go along with all the other data we had collected. We had an excellent Cruise; the information gathered will occupy the interest of scientists for years to come. In the computer lab, people are pouring through the public files looking at the photos and seeing which ones they might take home. It was fun to review other peoples accounts of the time spent together these last two months. Other Scientists are sitting with their computers combing through pages of raw data, working the numbers into more comprehensible files.
We are also relaxing, reading books, watching movies, packing our personal belongings, and just enjoying each other's company. Last night we had a barbeque on the helo deck complete with albatrosses flying behind the ship. The weather is perfect and we are making great time. I don't doubt that we will be in Cape Town a day early.
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