And just like that, we’re done. With the science, that is, for the most part.
I was just coming on shift, around 11:30 p.m., and the zoo crowd was doling out the catch from their krill tow with a little more enthusiasm than usual.
But we have been at it for three weeks. And the ice around Elephant Island had forced the team to scratch a whole mess of stations to the northeast, so once we’d worked our way back through the Bransfield picking up spots that had been too iced in before, there wasn’t anything left to do. And by the time it was getting light out, we’d already turned the corner around Snow Island and were northbound into the Drake, with Antarctica in our rearview mirror. I mean, if we had a rearview mirror.
But by then, science, er, sorry, Science was done – Aft Drylab was a ghost town, presumably because once they’d washed, sorted, clicked and whirled their last batch of krill, they buckled everything down and went back to their bunks to catch up on a month of sleep.
Ahead is nothing but 500 miles and a couple of days crossing the Drake. Joee may end up doing a CDT or two in the Passage if the weather’s flat enough (it won’t be), but aside from that, it’s all babysitting the systems and puttering around on projects we want to have done before things get busy during the port call.
Joee trying to finish up some carpentry for the MT shed, and George and Sheldon are refining a stirring platform, christened “the Hula Shaker” after I velcro’ed one of Sheldon’s desk ornaments to it. Me, I’ve just got to babysit the data acquisition system and keep coding. Sean is still trying to exorcise some of the more tenacious demons our of our procmail. But that’s all daylight stuff. I may end up being one of the last guys coming off night shift, other than the ship’s crew – at least it’ll be quiet.
I’ll start moving back to daytime as we get ready to turn the DAS off at the EEZ boundary, and I expect there’ll be the now-traditional mid-Drake Rocky Horror showing – always fun to try the Time Warp in a dark room with no windows when the deck’s moving around like the hula shaker.
Other than that? Well, I guess we’re done here.