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After the cruise is before the cruise!

11.08.11, 08:48 (comments: 1)

Waterspout in the Gulf of Mexico during R/V Endeavor cruise 496.

After the cruise is before the cruise! All the packing never seems to end. The Gulf of Mexico cruise on R/V Endeavor is already history. It was very exciting and we brought home many, many samples. In the Gulf we passed by the Deepwater Horizon spot and it was a little bit scary to see how many oil platforms surrounded us. I counted at least 50 that were in my sight on our way out into the further offshore waters of the Gulf of Mexico. The color of the water turned from green-black to almost purple-blue and whereas we caught lots of small zooplankton close to the Mississippi Delta, fewer but larger zooplankton of often bizarre forms made it into our nets far away from the coast. It was extraordinary calm weather all cruise long so we got really excited when we saw a waterspout on the horizon (see picture).
A difference between the Endeavor and other vessels was the impressive amount of ice cream that was available to everybody 24/7. I really liked that.
When I came home from the cruise after 4 weeks, my little son Theo got very excited and pointed all over the place telling me in his unique language what was going on without me. My husband and I were able to keep daily contact via email and he always gave me a good feeling that things worked out well at home. I still was surprised how much a child can grow at that age and how smooth and coordinated Theo’s movements have gotten as well as how his language skills improved.
So now we’re almost prepared for the second and luckily last cruise for this year. The container is about to be shipped out, all disposables have been filled up again and the flights to Barbados are booked for the end of the month. This time it will be a larger vessel, the R/V Mellville and we will go on board in Barbados to depart to explore dinitrogen-fixing organisms in the Amazon River plume. The Amazon cruise will be a little longer than the last one so I’ll be back in Atlanta beginning of October.
Very good news reached us few days ago, when my research proposal was accepted by the German Research Foundation. Now we know for sure that we don’t have to pack suitcases until the end of summer in 2013. After four month it is also a good timing to start thinking seriously about daycare for Theo. He got very excited when we visited the one in our neighborhood yesterday. He loves to be with other children and it would also encourage him to speak English. All this together with our plan to do a family vacation to Florida by the end of the year keep our moods high, even if I will be gone for another cruise soon.

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Comment by Helgard | 02.12.11

Will there be another blog about the Amazon cruise?

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