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Today's Weather
Lat: 37.0 N
Long: 23.8 E
Air temp: 15.8°C, 60.4°F
Bar. Pressure: 1018.6 mbar
Humidity: 41%
Sea surface temp: 18.2°C, 64.8°F
Winds: SW; 5.6 knots
Visibility: unlimited

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Greek Origin
Word of the Day:


from “nausia” or “nautia,” which means seasickness. This is also the source of our word “nautical,” referring to sailing the oceans.

Farewell from the Mediterranean

December 8, 2011 (posted December 9, 2011)
by Cherie Winner

We docked at Piraeus around 5 p.m. last night. Today we head into Athens and from there, home.

So with the science work of the cruise completed, here’s a roundup of little stories from our adventure.

For one thing, DHABs seem to be a hot topic of research. A few days after we got here, a Dutch research ship, the Pelagia, arrived on the scene. It was working at the same basins we were. In fact, for a few days it was close enough that we could see the ship quite clearly.

During the rescue of the 93 Egyptian men, several crew members donated items of clothing to the survivors. Captain AD Colburn is awarding a Safety Certificate and the cost of a new pair of steel-toed work boots to the three crew members who gave pairs of shoes to the men.

The crew of the research vessel Atlantis has something special to celebrate at the end of the cruise: Second Mate Carl Christensen is retiring after being part of the WHOI community for 11 years. Capt. Colburn says of Carl, “I’ve appreciated his hard work, his computer skills, and his willingness to serve on all WHOI vessels on short notice, with skill and good humor.” Cheers, Carl!

Throughout the cruise, Ordinary Seaman Ronnie Whims provided live music in a small room just forward of the main lab. The singer/songwriter spent most of his off hours during the cruise rehearsing for a tour with his band, Evolucid, that starts in Boise, Idaho, in January.

We did a little non-DHAB experiment during the cruise—finding out how far some people walk during a typical day. You wouldn’t think it would be very far, because the ship is only 274 feet long, but some members of the cruise are on their feet most of the time. So three of them wore a pedometer (which counts the steps you take) for a day. Our very unscientific results are: First Mate P.J. Leonard, whose job involves standing watch on the bridge, logged 4,484 steps, or about 1.7 miles. Chief scientist Ginny Edgcomb took 6,478 steps for a total of 2.4 miles. And our grand champion was Bos’n Patrick Hennessy, who supervises all deck operations. He took 7,899 steps, or just a shade under 3 miles in a day.

I want to thank Thorsten Stoeck for letting us use his excellent photos, especially of events that happened while I was laid up with seasickness.

And thanks to all of you who have followed our expedition and written to us at the Mail Buoy. We received (if I counted right) 262 questions! As you can imagine, they kept us very busy and we haven’t quite finished answering them all. So if you haven’t heard back from us yet, please be patient and watch your e-mail inbox. We will answer them all by Christmas.


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