Well, Christmas is over and all the festivities are behind us. Celebrating the holidays on the ship was amazing. We had a gift exchange on Christmas Eve, where I received this cute stuffed sheep, which will forever remind me of New Zealand!
On Christmas day, some of the folks on board went caroling around the ship. Their voices were amazing and it was really wonderful to listen to their beautiful music. At noon, we had an amazing holiday feast – the catering crew even outdid their Thanksgiving performance! After lunch there was a program with singing and poems and a visit from Santa. All the festivities definitely eased the sting of not being home for Christmas.
Right now, things are very quiet on the ship. We are logging at site #3, and the scientists are all working on their site reports. The projected schedule is that we will be arriving at our final site in about 24 hours, give or take a few. Then the calm will end and the frenzy will begin. The plan is to keep coring until the last possible moment, which means the scientists will have to be sampling and analyzing and describing while the work on their reports. There won’t be a nice long transit back to port in which to do all that work. It also means the technicians have only about 48 hours to get the labs cleaned and closed and ready for the next expedition. It’s going to be a very hectic final push.
The time has gone by so quickly – I can’t believe it’s almost over!