Our cruise to the PAP site has finally come to an end and after a successful couple of days at the Porcupine Seabight the James Cook steamed back to Falmouth. Although everyone was excited by the prospect of fresh fruit, crunchy vegetables, and yes, family and friends too, the joy of returning to “normality” is always accompanied by some sadness.
When you are stuck at sea for several weeks, you are physically and mentally completely removed from life on land and the ship becomes its own little microcosm. You make good friends, you are being fed copiously, and there is always something marvellous to see when looking through your porthole or when taking a break out on deck. Breathtaking sunsets, graceful shearwaters, colossal whales, schools of dolphins, furiously foaming wave crests, and all shades of blue you can possibly imagine.
Also, coming off the ship means more work, since everything has to be packed up, cleaned, unloaded and re-loaded again to be transported back to various institutes. Most of the heavy-duty unloading is done by the technicians and the crew, while the scientists are returning back to work to analyse their samples and to start planning for next year’s cruise adventure.
On that note, we would like to thank you all for following our blog. See you next year back at the PAP site!