Last night!

July 31, 2010

Lat/Lon: 40 ° 09.4234 N / 069 ° 50.4183 W
Air Temp: 20.9 ° C/ 69.620 ° F
Wind Speed: 9.58 Knots
Humidity: 74.5 %
Water Temp: 21.97 ° C/ 71.546 ° F
Salinity: 31.5940 psu
Depth: 97 m (no I'm not kidding)

Last night Cassieopia was bright off the starboard and the Big Dipper was above the bow. We are heading north to home!

You have GOT to watch this video (link written below)!! The talented Tom Lanagan has worked his magic and you'll be delighted with the product!

Today there's mostly "clean up" on the agenda other than a "F&B" (Fire and Boat Drill) at 12:30 today. I was reading Sarah Schulenberg's blog last night and loved that she included info on how many sampling events we've had - so you're getting some of that info here!

In all, there were 53 Sampling Events completed on our journey. They're broken down as:

CDH Long Core: 9 events
Multi-Core: 20 events
Plankton Tow: 1 event
CTD: 1 event

The agenda board has "EAT FRUIT" sprawled across it - you know we can't bring the fruit that was purchased in the Azores into the U.S.! I think I'm on my 5th orange in two days...

In addition to all the talented crew members, technicians, assistants and researchers, we also had a living legend aboard! How many people do you know have their own Wikipedia page?

Meet Ian Nicholas (Nick) McCave. Nick is pictured at the top of this blog entry (middle) with Chief Scientist Lloyd Keigwin (left) and Teacher Liason Frank Scofield (right). Frank and Lloyd were students of Nick's at Brown University in 1965 - small world!

Nick is from the Isle of Guernsey. His eventual focus on the marine environment was influenced by his ocean-side upbringing. Nick's mother, who worked for the airlines, took Nick all over Europe on vacations. So, this well traveled boyscout, lover of the outdoors and talented in the sciences was in the high track in high school. His headmaster suggested that he consider studying geology in college when it became apparent that he had a shot at Oxford. Nick was admitted to Oxford, quite an honor! There he continued to excel.

Nick credits Oxford's student-centered approach and his professor / tutor Dr. Harold Reading for his excellent preparation early on in his . It
seems that Nick carries this approach with him as he loves teaching and mentoring. On board, Nick has been a Pied Piper of sorts. Once he starts talking about a graph or a map, we all just gather round him to listen and learn.

Graduate work brought Nick to Brown University where he met John Allen who introduced the idea of mechanics of sedimentary processes. Until that point Nick had been focused on describing sedimentary features. Now his attention turned to learning about the mechanisms by which these features were made - integration of physics. Upon completion of his PhD program Nick went to Holland for two years as a NATO fellow and began studying the marine sedimentary environment. He followed this post-doc with a faculty position at the, then brand new, University of East Anglia. It was such an exciting time and the team of faculty took on the charge of developing a novel course of study: "Environmental Science" - everything from health to nutrient cycling to geology to meteorology and more! While at East Anglia Nick met WHOI's Charlie Hollister and thus began Nick's relationship with WHOI. For years Nick worked with WHOI and on the R/V Knorr.

Nick moved on to the University of Cambridge and there he became the Woodwardian Professor of Geology until his retirement in 2008. Today, Nick explains, he's got the freedom of a post-doc: he can focus on research. And that's just what he's been doing on our trip!

One night to go - and we've seen some pretty amazing things tonight already! But you'll have to read about that in tomorrow's blog...our last blog!

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