Dear readers: it has been a while since I last updated my blog. We have been busy sampling and it got a bit hectic. So I could not make time to write. Internet in the middle of the Indian Ocean had not been the greatest either. I hope you did not miss the blog as much as I missed writing it.
The latest update is that we are almost towards the end of our expedition. Coming up is a long transit to Fremantle and we just started our return journey. As we approach Fremantle, there is a pre-determined time and location where a ‘pilot’ will come onboard and guide us into the port.
As soon as we start our transit, we have to start planning for ‘demobilization’. At the beginning of this journey, I wrote about how diligently we set up laboratory and other arrangements onboard the vessel so that we could do science without any hindrance. It is equally important to plan demobilization with utmost care. During demobilization, we have to de-construct everything and make sure that the vessel is ready for the next expedition by the time we leave. Of course, the crew will be helping us every step of the way. We also need to think about how to send our samples back to our respective home laboratories. We spent all these days collecting valuable samples, and right now the most important job is to make sure that these samples are carefully packed and send off. As we make arrangements for shipping our samples back, we have to keep in mind the export and import laws of Australia and the US. It is no trivial issue. We can only hope that we have done our homework right and the samples will travel well and show up safe and sound.
I will like to thank all the participating scientists and crew members for their efforts and support throughout this expedition. And thanks to you all who followed this expedition via this blog. It was nice to have you all as audience as I narrated my experience. If you ever feel like talking about ocean, send me an email, and I will be happy to chat. On that note, I will conclude this expedition blog and hope to re-connect on a different expedition next year.