15 Nov 2018 – The Best Kind of Ships are Friendships.  By Cassie Fries

It’s the last day on the RV Endeavor, and as much as we’re excited to escape the bad weather, it’s always bittersweet leaving sea. The past few weeks have flown by, and it’s been an exciting time learning science, and learning about our shipmates. All of us, especially on night shift, have gotten really close, and it’s going to be hard to say goodbye to them on land. When you spend 12 hours together on shift and are there for each other through sleep deprivation, games, being covered in fish guts, and everything in between, it’s hard not to get close. The ship’s crew has also been so great with helping us do science to just hanging out with us while we count fish into the late hours of the morning.

The last few nights of science have been really busy. In one night, we sorted and photographed over 300 animals! This team has been so incredible to work with, and everything gets done correctly and quickly. We are a machine on night shift.

Since we are transiting back to a normal(ish) sleep schedule, we got to see day shift retrieve a lander, and it had some special guests on it! As Cris Graupe mentioned in his blog a few days ago, there were chain catsharks (Scyliorhinus retifer). I am very interested in sharks, and am applying to graduate schools to work with sharks, so I was ecstatic to see some! I didn’t think while collecting zooplankton on an oceanography cruise that we would see sharks, but anything can happen while at sea.

I want to thank Jen Miksis-Olds and Joe Warren, our PI and Chief Scientist aboard for being our leaders this cruise. It’s been such a wonderful time aboard the Endeavor. Thank you to all the crew for all the help, the laughs, and mostly the incredible food.

chain sharks
Fig 1. Photo of the Chain catsharks. Photo credit: Cassie Fries