My science is all done, and we are on our way back home. It’s amazing what heading North for a day or so will do. The stifling heat and overbearing humidity are gone (along with my sea sickness – woohoo) It’s hard to believe there is a tropical storm where we were just a day or so ago. Last night the ocean was smooth as glass, which I’ve never seen before. It made for a beautiful sunset, complete with guest appearances by some dolphins, a turtle, and a school of flying fish. Today we made an impromptu stop and I was able to collect a few more samples.  Tomorrow we a going to stop again to give the sediment folks another chance to collect some cores. We won’t be collecting water though, so I can start to pack up and plan out how to get my samples shipped frozen over a weekend.

 Overall I was hoping to accomplish 5 different projects (one specifically for me and 4 for other people), which was probably a bit overambitious. I am completely satisfied with how two of those came out, mostly satisfied with what I was able to get done for two others (one of those being my personal project) and I totally failed at the 5th. Overall I guess that’s not too bad. In addition to my science objectives, I got to know some awesome people and top notch scientists outside of the world of hydrothermal vents, which is great. I gained experience going solo on a ship – tomorrow I will probably spend some time writing down what went well and what I could have done differently. I’de like to write myself a to do list for the next time I go on a cruise so that I remember all the helpful bits and pieces that are floating around in my head, but will soon disappear. 

It’s hard to keep from getting bored now that the science is over, but its fun to be on the way home, and I can enjoy just relaxing out at sea, and maybe even get some other work done!