Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Final post from the board of the RRS James Cook!

This morning we arrived in Algoa bay and, now, we are doing a post-cruise calibration of the echosounders. It will be critical to ensure the instruments have been stable over the expedition, so our data are comparable to other people’s work.
Tomorrow morning we will enter Port Elizabeth and disembark, which means that today we still have a lot to do; finalizing cleaning, packing, clearing our cabins, etc.

This is probably the last blog post I am writing aboard the ship for this expedition and I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the followers and occasional readers of this blog (over 15,000 pageviews since the beginning from a lot of different countries – U.K., Switzerland, United States, Italy, Germany, France, Australia, Sweden, Denmark, Canada and others).

It has been wonderful experience for me.
Firstly being on board a research vessel again! Even if it was not my first time at sea I think that every research cruise is unique in a way or another.
I consider myself extremely lucky to have been allowed to participate in this expedition in the context of my work at IUCN for the Global Marine and Polar Programme (http://www.iucn.org/marine).
I have learnt a lot about deep-sea life. I witnessed impressive images of human impacts. I saw beautiful animals and amazing scenes of the bottom of the sea.

Secondly, it was the first time I was in charge of a blog. And believe me I have learnt a lot and it has been a very formative exercise. Here, I would like to deeply thank the people on board who have read and corrected my texts and have contributed to the blog. I have a special thought for David Staples who read my blog post every single day. He was generally the first person to whom I dare to show my text. He helped and encouraged me a lot (Thank you very much, dear David!). I want to sincerely thank Alex Rogers, Expedition Leader, who never complained about me intruding and interrupting to ask him to check, improve and approve my texts before I posted them. Thanks a lot, Alex, for having me on board!

Thank you also very much to all participants - technicians, crew and scientists - for your contributions. Through your work you have inspired me. It has been a pleasure meeting, working and sharing this expedition with you.



PS: (Please note that if you sign up via the ‘Follow the expedition by email’, I will not have access to your email address but you will get automatically a notification each time there is something new on the blog.)