June 6, 2007
Latitude/Longitude: 79°06.0' N, 010°01.0' E
The time has come to wrap things up. The science is over for this test cruise and we are cruising south along the archipelago of Svarlbard towards our destination of Longyearbyen. It is there that we will depart Oden and catch our flight back to Tromsö and then home.
Before we leave there will be another phone call to the high school. There is a more leisurely atmosphere today and although the chief biologist, Tim Shank, is busy securing his lab, he has agreed to talk to some of my sophomore Biology I students. Another wonderful half hour conversation between scientist and students! Tim answered all sorts of questions, advised the kids on career paths in marine science and even invited them to visit his lab at WHOI. We will certainly take him up on this.
The last Science Meeting of the test cruise was held in the mess this afternoon, just after kaffe time. I will miss the strong Swedish coffee and the espresso that is available anytime at the press of a button. It is what keeps many going on the long shifts! At the meeting we heard about the successes of the AUVs and remote sensing, the goodies brought back from the deep by CAMPER - including quite possibly a new species of brittle star - and we watched the amazing video shot by Roy's little ROV. There were really neat views of the underside of the ice. Now we've seen the ice from all angles. All very cool!
Plans must now be made for disembarking from Oden. Most of the crew is leaving by noon time, there will only be a skeleton crew onboard for the final afternoon and night. We need to be at the Longyearbyen Airport for a 0500 flight, but as the airport is right in the settlement there is no travel time involved to get to the airport. The real question to be answered is do we stay on board Oden to the very end or leave with the crew and spend time in the town? We do not have to decide until morning, so we spend the time looking at the multitude of photos and viewing the fjords of Svarlbard from the bridge.
Whatever plans are made, I know this: The time is right; I am ready to go home.