After lunch came time for our 'punishments' for our crimes... for which we had to go through whatever it was blindfolded. The captain went first, and the Chief Scientist went second, and I jumped up to go 3rd. It had been suggested to me before the cruise that if at all possible, I should go through the line early rather than later... TOTALLY A GREAT SUGGESTION.
The first stop was the 'electric chair' which was accompanied by a surprise bucket of ice water.
And then came the belly of the whale. Let us not speak of what exactly was in the belly of the whale, suffice to say that I was glad that they didn't make me actually go all the way on to my stomach... they'd kind of forgotten that part... teehee...
But afterwards, it was mentioned that, well now that you're shellbacks, you can help 'punish' the others... and thats when things got fun... people were getting doused with multiple buckets of water, the cook gave us a tray of eggs... and people were made to seriously roll around in the belly of the whale. Shenanigans!
All in all a rather entertaining day... the next day we had a BBQ on the fantail of the ship, where we were presented with our certificates and cards proving that we are shellbacks. Huzzah!
On the 28th, we spent a good few hours loading up our shipping container... which for me meant climbing up a jungle gym of boxes inside a metal box in the blazing sun trying to fit all the puzzle pieces together. It was really really hot in there. But we made quick work of it, and were all ready to arrive in port...
Pulling into port on the 29th, I was actually up and about for a change to see us arrive in port and watch the crew secure the ship to the dock.
After finishing what loading needed to be done that morning, we quickly ventured out to the local watering hole(s) ;) where we got much needed refreshments and snacks.
Jake trying flying fish for the first time...
This was soon followed by a game of beach volleyball.... I think I got a little overzealous... because there was a lot of diving into the sand ... laa la la...
We returned to the port later for dinner and the post-cruise party at the port bar... which we followed by discovering a soca (soul-calypso) music concert going on as part of the summer festival season. Imagine a group of 10 white people (plus one asian) dancing in the middle of a sea of Bajans... it was rather awesome.
We followed this by commandeering a flatbed truck to take us all to our next destination - Harbor Lights bar and nightclub for more dancing and some much needed swimming. Great day!
The next morning, I got up early again, and went out for a few dives with some scientists and crew... Awesome diving there:
We all moved off the ship, mostly towards the popular St. Lawrence Gap area and met up later for dinner and more fun. It was a great way to conclude the trip. (except for the part where my hotel screwed up, didn't have a room for me, and I had to make them get me a room at a hotel down the street)
All in all this has been a great series of cruises. The people have been amazing, and the crews we've worked with on the three different ships have all been stellar. A big thank you to to my lab tech, whose been on all three of these cruises, and to Jake, the undergrad on his first trip, for their efforts.
As I head back into the lab now, I can definitely reflect on these cruises as major events that have had an impact on my life. Between the people and the science, they've all worked to shape my vision for what I want to do after my PhD and so on. I'm about to start an intense several months leading up to my eventual dissertation defense next spring, but it'll be okay. I've got a lot of data and several stories to tell.
Now it's off to the lab and to my computer to wrap up my dissertation before heading out to my next adventure.
So until next time... Cheers All~~!