Sentry being moved for placement into its container van.
Today, docked in Newport, Oregon, we said sad goodbyes to about half of the science party from the first leg of the Enlighten’10 expedition and to the AUV Sentry team. The day was spent packing up gear, working on final reports and summaries, and welcoming newcomers onto the ship. We have 9 new students on board as well as 6 new faculty and scientific personnel.
Early in the morning the high-definition camera was driven to Oregon State University where it was taken apart, new gaskets installed, and the housing pressure tested to ensure that the camera is ready to deploy into the very high-pressure conditions of the seafloor. Sentry was safely packed away into its shipping van, and the Thompson crane offloaded the container van onto a waiting flatbed truck for transport back to Woods Hole in Cape Cod. Many of the science team and crew took the opportunity to wander into town and stretch legs that had been confined to walking the 274' length of the Thompson for the past two weeks. Instant first sensory impressions of many as they exited the Main Lab was the distinct smell of the coastal sea, very different from that of the open ocean and of being on ground that was not moving continually. For those staying aboard for the next leg, it was good to have time to relax a bit, catch a nap, and talk with loved ones and friends on land.