We have just left the waters of Martinique at the start of our two day transit to our final port of Curacao - and so ends our six week sojourn in the sunny Caribbean.
We have cored over twenty holes at nine different sites off the islands of Montserrat, Dominica and Martinique. This activity has yielded nearly three kilometres of core at a recovery rate approaching 70% – far higher than many people were anticipating at the start of the expedition. For those of us involved in the very first planning meeting – which took place at Southampton – this has been the culmination of six years of effort.
For all the scientists on the expedition the challenge is now to ensure that we follow up this effort and expense with the highest possible quality research on the cruise materials over the coming years. Alongside the scientists, from eight different nations, the technical staff from IODP, the drillers on the floor and the officers and crew of the JOIDES Resolution all contributed greatly to the success of the expedition – our thanks go to them all.
The winds subsided sufficiently on the last few day of the cruise for some of us to be able to take the RIB out for a trip round the ship. So, I leave you with a shot of the JR basking in the sun, with Martinique in the background.