And so, we’re nearly there! We’ve sailed across the Atlantic, from our final station on the southern tip of Greenland all the way back home. We’re currently sailing through Irish Waters, due to pass by the Lizard sometime in the early hours of tomorrow.
We’ve had an incredibly busy, and successful, expedition (and I think that we’re all in need of some rest!).
We have collected or filtered approximately 28,000 litres of seawater; over 50 metres of marine sediments; and 1551 biological specimens (across 10 Phyla). The ROV dived for over 186 hours (over a week!) and we surveyed an area over twice the size of Wales…
During that time, we ate 1000 kg of carrots, 400 kg of potatoes, 280 l of fruit juice, 52 kg of baked beans, and went through 2000 tea bags. We also ate one whole bag of frozen broad beans.
But aside from all the science we meticulously planned, what are some of the concluding thoughts of the scientists onboard?
Highlights of ICY-LAB
George: Preserving handfuls of deep-sea life in jars of ethanol..
Shannon: Conducting CTD collections and delegating responsibility- I liked being the boss! I loved the dynamic of the Night Shift!
Veerle: The giant rays and the squid attack we saw on the ROV footage was really cool to see!
Adam: The friendships forged during the coldest water sampling stints on the deck through the night. As well as the beautiful sunrises!
Ana: Something I won’t ever forget is the moment we saw the seafloor at 3000 metres for the first time- it wasn’t like anything I’ve seen before.
Claire: Searching the seafloor for samples was great, and finding carnivorous sponges was a definite highlight for me.
Grace: Conversations with Dave Edge, and dancing in the deck lab with Allison whilst slicing sediment cores!
Hong Chin: The integration of the whole science team was great!
James: A particular morning off the coast of Nuuk when a beautiful sunrise emerged and the whales came out.
Jake: Seeing freshly-made maps of the seafloor, and meeting strong currents off southwest Greenland which made for very interesting sailing! Also, escaping from the cold biology room each time!
Michelle: Seeing awesome deep-sea animals, and being in the ROV van!
Rebecca: I never thought I’d de-goo a bamboo coral.
Amber: Filtering 6000 litres of seawater!
Marcus: Seeing the sun rise over Greenland with new and old friends.
Steph: That moment in Nuuk when the sun rose and the whales came out was unforgettable.
Laura: Dougal requesting Thai Fish Curry for dinner constantly.
Kate: It was great how the whole science team gelled so well together, and made the whole experience awesome!
Allison: The very first gravity core that came up with more than 5 metres of sediment was great.
I’m glad I brought:
George: A multi-tool.
Grace: Tea and chocolate!
Kate: My slippers.
Shannon: Hard drive space.
Laura: A coffee machine and down jacket!
Rebecca: Warm fuzzy hoodies.
Adam: A journal and sketchpad.
Michelle: A thermal onesie.
Veerle: My cruise notes from previous cruises.
James: Headphones and chocolate.
Allison: Music speakers.
Jake: A tweed jacket.
Marcus: A boiler suit, my DSLR camera, and high-fit waterproof trousers.
Claire: My boiler suit for the cold room.
Hong Chin: Hair ties.
Steph: Thick socks.
Amber: A bath mat, and the game Jungle Speed!
Things I wish I brought:
Ana: A boiler suit.
Shannon: More shoe options.
Veerle: My music collection.
George: More ‘normal’ clothes.
Adam: Chocolate and tea.
Grace: A jet ski!
Kate: My cat.
Laura: A cosy jumper.
James: Shoes and boiler suit.
Michelle: Music speakers.
Allison: A ‘big-ass’ telephoto lens.
Jake: Earl Grey tea.
Marcus: Another 2 terabytes of data space, and a lapel microphone.
Hong Chin: A far-range camera lens.
Amber: A more extensive playlist for the chemistry lab!
Things I didn’t end up using:
Kate: Seasickness tablets.
George: A load of books there wasn’t time to read!
Ana: I was too tired to keep a journal, so I didn’t need that!
Shannon: My waterproof trousers.
Adam: Seasickness tablets.
Allison: My sunhat!
Veerle: My swimsuit.
Laura: Swimming gear.
Rebecca: Surprisingly, I never wore my warmest winter jacket.
Michelle: Two pairs of sunglasses were unnecessary.
Jake: Swimming shorts, flip-flops.
Marcus: Waterproof coat, flip-flops.
Hong Chin: A thermos flask.
Steph: My camera.. I can rely on everyone else’s lovely photos!
Thanks to all the scientists, technicians, and all the crew of the RRS Discovery for a great scientific adventure!
And thank you for reading our cruise blogs – please do keep reading to find out about all our updates.
The ICY-LAB Team
The ICY-LAB science crew on the front deck of RRS Discovery! (Photo credit: Martin Bridger)