Saturday, January 7, 2012

January 6: To Sea!

Atlantis the morning of departure.
(photo by Chris German, WHOI)
We are all extremely excited that Atlantis finally left Port Everglades near Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, at 8:00 a.m. on January 6. The ship will take roughly two and one half days to reach its first station over the Mid-Cayman Rise just south of Cuba.

Before embarking, the science team was very busy preparing Atlantis for departure. Everyone was to be on board by January 4 so we could ensure a full day on the 5th to unpack, unload equipment, and secure everything on board. It was also the time to give loved ones a good-bye phone call, as communication is now very limited from the ship.

The science team in their "gumby suits."
The morning of the 6th was slightly hectic as the LAST shipment of equipment arrived at 7:30 a.m.—just 30 minutes before departure! Luckily everything went off without a hitch.  So far it has been mostly clear skies and calm waters and we’re off to a great start.

After departing. the science team had safety training, which involved putting immersion suits—better known as "gumby suits"—and afterwards deploying a rescue boat as part of a practice drill.

Heading west

After heading south past the Florida Keys, we turned west, into the sunset to skirt Cuba, and right now we have nothing but smooth sailing.

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