Leaving Port, ODYSSEY Gulf Blog, (Year 3), Day 14, June 7, 2012
Day 14, Thursday, June 7, 2012
Dear Family and Friends,
Port is a funny thing. After numerous days at sea, you are excited to be headed into port. It’s a chance to have the ability to move around more than the limited space on board. It’s a
chance to shower and use the facilities without having to hold yourself from falling over. It’s a chance for Krispy Kreme doughnuts, a crew favorite, and in Pensacola, you can buy them fresh out of the oven. They are warm and gooey and simply melt in your mouth. It’s a welcome change of pace from the constant work at sea.
But, after just a couple of days in port, you soon find yourself ready and eager to get back out to sea. It’s amazing how limited a space Port becomes. Very quickly the crew begins to ask when can we go back to sea. Then comes the moment when it’s time to go and excitement and elation buzzes through the team.
The other aspect of Port that is remarkable is the kindness of people in the area. For example, on this stop we discovered mold in a couple of the cell cultures. Mold is a very bad thing for cultures, but can be fought off with some anti-mold compounds if caught early. Only problem was – we were out of it. Fortunately, we live in the internet age and James (at home) found a contact at the University of South Alabama who did cell culture. I called and he generously agreed to give us some mold-killer and I drove over and picked it up. Many thanks to Dr. Brewer for his help and kindness. We have found such kindness to be a common feature of the Gulf coast community.
The time to leave has come. We have had our fill of doughnuts. Well, not really, it seems the team could eat those doughnuts every day. Tania even had doughnuts followed by a doughnut sundae (i.e. doughnuts with ice cream on top). But, the weather has cleared and we are now pleased to be back at sea.
To set the stage again, the team from the last leg is mostly the same. We have Captain Bob, first mate Hugh, second mate Ike, Sandy is our cook and whale photo-id person. Johnny is our primary biopsier, Tania is our cell culture person, Carolyne is our data logger and of course me. This leg we also have added Matthew Braun. Matt was on the 2010 voyage for almost the entire voyage taking classes online from the boat as we went into the fall. Matt will be our second biopsier.
The waves are really rolling us around tonight and the boat is quite warm. But while stomachs for some may be low, spirits are high and the team is eager to find whales!
John Pierce Wise, Sr., Ph.D., Science Director