July 8, 2006
Woke up early to watch my last sunrise over the Atlantic Ocean. It was spectacular. It was hard to imagine that I have been on the Endeavor for 19 days. Eric and I were joking that just as we got used to the ship it was time to leave. We did the last air filter change and collected the PSDs. After breakfast we got all the equipment we need for the pumping stop together. The sky had become over cast and the air was very cool.
I finished packing, then cleaned and vacuumed my room. I was still unable to get an Internet connection to my AOL account. I took photos of the crew and the ship.
While on the bridge, the crew pointed out different kinds of large fish. The waters seem so alive and there was a very distinct smell in the air, something I had noticed was absent most of the trip. Later, when I was on the deck, Dave pointed out a pod of Dolphins swimming close to the ship. He then took me to the bow, where the dolphins were riding the waves. It is a sight I will never forget. I think of it as a goodbye gift.
After doing the water filter change and having lunch, we started setting up the equipment on deck for the 12 hour pumping stop at 8:00 pm. Dave suggested we set up the pump on the floor of the deck to decrease the height through which the water would have to be pumped. He doubled checked the hose for any leaks.
We could see Martha's Vineyard and most of the crew could make calls on their cell phone. At exactly 8:00 pm the ship engines were turned off and we primed the pump. It started to flow well, but after 10 minutes the flow rate dropped. It seemed to be having the same problem that we had at the last pumping stop. After several adjustments, Dave got a slow but steady flow. Eric volunteered to do the 10:00 pm to midnight watch and I would do the midnight to 6 am watch. Wallis, Armando, Dave, Eric and I sat on deck and enjoyed the night sky till 10:00 pm. The water was teaming with fish, which seemed to be attracted to the lights. The squid were fascinating the way they kept changing colors.
The pump started acting up at 10:30 pm. After several attempts by Dave to get it to work, we decided to stop the pumping. All the equipment was dismantled and at 11:40 pm, the ship set sail. Dave was exhausted, he had been on the go since 7am.
It has been a very long and disappointing day for all of us.