Highs and lows
The penultimate day of the cruise had arrived and as we all gathered for breakfast we worked it out as 3 more breakfasts, 2 more lunches and 2 more dinners until we disembarked the ship! Once again with no jobs, Debbie and I took advantage of the sunshine again and posted ourselves upfront on the bow area to catch the morning sun. Boy it was hot!
Lunch came and went - I just had toast and butter. Now after 11 days of toast even this was becoming tedious to eat - dry crusts, hard to chew! We were all feeling the need for a little variety. The afternoon was spent sleeping, reading, and sleeping until dinnertime.
The evening meal was at least, edible! A fish hunk in teriyaki sauce! The sauce was its saving graze - hadn't it been without, it would have just been another dry, cold piece of fish! There was some sort of pork meatball wrapped in a cabbage leaf tied with what looked like animal fat! It tasted ok and it was hot! We decided that this, apart from the ramin had been the best meal so far but that meant some sort of repercussions for tomorrow's food. Generally it would be an ok meal followed by 5 days of nastiness!
We watched the telly again tonight but unfortunately no English film. We watched the news that had intermittent English interviews - mainly George Bush making a mess of things as usual!
With final day of the cruise looming, it was time to reflect on the last 12 days onboard RV Hakuho Maru sailing in the northwest Pacific. There were definite peaks and troughs to the adventure. Definitely the data collected from Alfie was a superb high for all the team, and managing to recover both landers safely even if Lander B didn't provide us with any pictures was still fantastic.
I have enjoyed learning all about the logistics to building the landers and what the components do too - it puts into perspective the lectures we had in university in our final year! And I did enjoy checking the floats (really Toyo I did!) and greasing the shackles - it's a good job to do as its 'nice to look after your stuff!' Having never been so hungry in my life, the food situation was a horrible low point and unfortunately a daily occurrence!
I feel very fortunate to have joined Alan and Toyo on this cruise and it has definitely given me an appetite for deep-sea research! It had been an absolute privilege to work with Alan and Toyo - always willing to explain things to you and making me feel part of the team (although I didn't do much!!) Both these boys have gained my utmost respect - what a dam good job they do and what a credit they are to Oceanlab! I wish them both all the best in their future cruises and whatever lies ahead of them!
P.S: Just for the record Alan, Debbie and Toyo - I am never eating plums again! Ever! Yes, you all know what I mean!!
Posted on 5 October 2008
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