It is late on Saturday, we are soon heading back to port, and the city lights of Guaymas will tonight appear on the eastern horizon. The labs get very busy, not just with last-minute sample processing, but with packing up, cleaning, copying data, and getting our precious samples ready for shipment tomorrow at noon. The cruise was greatly successful; everyone will go home with really cool data, hot mud, frozen sediments, preserved bacteria mats and animals, gently simmering – nonradioactive – incubations, and mostly good memories (the bad ones fade away, Mother Nature has taken care of that). Even better, the End-of-cruise party is on the horizon, tomorrow evening at the Club Nautico in Guaymas, but of course we will NEVER post pictures from that event.
OK – we conclude instead with the obligatory group photo! Everyone finds space in front of Alvin, and we look our sunday best and smile, a bit incredulous that our cruise is soon over and that daily life waits just a few airports away. Could now somebody play David Bowie in portuguese, just for the mood?
Atlantis and Alvin will chase another adventure soon, and hunt Yeti crabs on the Costa Rica Margin (no joke, they exist). Of course, we think that the next cruise will be just like this… diving for the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, even if we have not found it quite yet. That requires another NSF proposal, and the “pot of gold” quest has to be framed with nice null and zero hypotheses. Whatever it takes!