July 8, 2003
I set may alarm for 6:55 am this morning. I was not going to risk missing breakfast since I was not sure what would happen for lunch. I had asked Allan last night if he wanted to start packing up his lab and he said he was very unmotivated and we could do it in the morning. I went to help him right after eating and it was a bigger job than he had anticipated. The amount of equipment that had to be moved from the ship back to the labs including refrigerators connected to incubators was absolutely amazing. I was not a part of loading the boat so was unaware of the total process. Jill had come down at 9 am to see the boat come in and wondered why I never came out when most of the others were lined up at the railing. She finally sent someone in to get me. You just cannot leave a job in the middle. We finally finished emptying the small lab and started helping with the wet lab and the main lab. A human chain formed up the gangplank passing numerous pieces of equipment up to the main landing. Various people were making trips up to the labs and back and others began to leave amidst all the goodbyes. By 11, we were basically done and Greg and Ben gave my luggage and me a ride up to the Coastal Institute Building. I checked in with Jill and Gail and let them know I was going to go back down to the ship and have lunch with the crew. I had found out at breakfast that this was an option. When I walked back down to the ship, Allan, Bob, Ted and Maria had retuned for some other equipment. Ted and Maria made the dreadful discovery that the crew had thrown all the plankton nets from the MOCNESS into the dumpster. They were very relieved to have rescued the $5000 worth of nets and pledged never to use black plastic bags to transport them again.
I was very happy to sit and have lunch with Allan. It seemed a good ending to our week of work. I thought I was going to miss saying goodbye, as he seemed to be staying up at the labs. After lunch, I helped Bob collect the last of the equipment and chemicals that had been overlooked as each person thought they were someone else's responsibility. I said goodbye to Bob and then had an opportunity to talk with Bill Hahn, the marine superintendent, about possibilities for the field trip I am suppose to schedule for this school year. I was very pleased to be able to speak with him in person and he seemed very interested in helping with my plans. I had said hello to him on my walk down to the ship, having no idea who he was, but after lunch, I was talking with Lynne about the Endeavor schedule and she pointed him out. I walked back up to the Coastal Institute to share the story of my incredible week with Jill, Gail, Maryann and Andrea, the ARMADA organizers. It has been a phenomenal experience. In my life experiences, this trip ranks equal with the thrill of climbing the knife-edge of Mt. Katadin.