Thus ends our scientific journey aboard the Melville, all that is left to do is clean up and go home. Samples are labeled, inventoried, and lashed down for the ~18hr boat ride home. The tables have been mostly cleared of our scopes and computers, the lab is quickly emptying. The photos are being piled higher and higher (10 gigs and growing) and seriously need a little sorting (delete the duplicates and the blurry ones!).
In a way this reminds me of a summer camp. We came from different places, we made new friends, ate together, bunked together, sang together, hauled together, killed together, sorted together, laughed together, and now we return to our separate offices and institutions. For a great many of us, this was our first and possibly last time on a research vessel. It has been undeniably unforgettable, and despite the fair amount of heavy grunt work it went incredibly fast.
Hopefully my time here turns into something for my work as a senior graduate student and helps me inspire the future of society as a teaching fellow at Helix High School. That’s aiming high but at least I know that I had a hell of a good time and can wear my R/V Melville hat and call myself a seafaring Marine Biologist with relative pride. I came, saw, shrank some cups, collected some livers, helped shoot some video and pull some tag lines. What more could I ask for more?