Keck Expedition 2004
August 26, 2004 Day 12

Cruise log as of 1800 August 26,2004

Peter Girguis, acting chief scientist

Hello to everyone on shore! I am writing to you from the Northeastern Pacific, 75 nautical miles away from the coast of Oregon. Today is the last day of our expedition and we will soon be docking in Newport, Oregon at the Oregon State University station. We have been running from bad weather for about twenty fours now. In fact, we had to abort our final dive due to weather. That was very unfortunate as we were quite excited about the exploratory dive during which we would be looking for new vent fields. Yesterday morning, however, the winds were blowing and the swells had reached 3 meters. The captain, chief ROV pilot and I looked at the weather report (that is sent to the ship by FAX) and decided that deploying the vehicle was too dangerous in this weather. At that point, there was no sense in sitting around and getting pummeled so we began our journey home. While this was a mild disappointment, we were not too upset since we already had accounted for this possibility and had accomplished our most important tasks long before our last dive. In other words, we had already figured we would lose at least one dive due to weather. This is just one of many factors that a person must account for when participating in a seagoing research expedition.

All in all, this has been a fantastic cruise. Every scientist accomplished their goals, the ROV performed well except for a few minor glitches here and there, and the ship ran smoothly for the entire duration. I must admit I will miss being out here. There’s a certain tranquility that comes from being at sea. Of course, I miss my family and friends and cannot wait to see them again. However, while you are at sea there are no cell phones, no junk email, no bills (at least temporarily), and few distractions. You and your shipmates eat and sleep within a few feet of the laboratory where you work. While this too gets tiresome, for a few short weeks it’s a relief from the noise of everyday life.

group pic.jpg (171300 bytes) During the last day of our expedition, we began packing our supplies and tidied up our cabins. Dinner came quickly and was fantastic. Afterwards, we enjoyed two movies in the ROV control room (which the ROV pilots were courteous enough to set up for us). Of course, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to take a group photo with the ROV Tiburon (The scientific party of MBARI's Juan de Fuca expedition (Leg three).  From left to right: Peter Girguis, Brian Kristall, Andrew Opatkiewicz, Katie Roberts, Christina Preston , Deb Glickson, Deb Kelley, and Kevin Roe.  Behind us is the ROV Tiburon.). After that, we retired to our cabins and slept soundly knowing that we would be home in a few short hours.

Well here we are at the end of our journey and the end of this log entry. I would like to thank you all for joining us on our expedition, and I look forward to writing to you once again when I’m next at sea. Until then, be well.

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