27 Aug 2012

CCE LTER Cruise: Day 29, Last Day…

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Written by Dana Lebental, Teacher at Sea

August 25- Day 29

Today is the last day at sea. All good things must come to an end and I thought it would be a good time to reflect. Everyone is working very hard to clean up lose ends, and prepare for our arrival at port tomorrow.

Part of tiding up is exploring the last minute crevices of the ship. The R/V Melville (the ship that we are on) was made with a bow dome. Back in 1969 when the Melville first set sail, scientists thought it would be great to have windows in the bottom of the front of the boat (bow dome), so that they could watch marine life such as dolphins and whales in their habitat.

Life Aquatica Bow Dome

Life Aquatica Bow Dome

To get to the dome, you get to walk down a very steep ladder, two flights until the bottom…

Carole on way down to dome....

Carole on way down to dome….

But once you get down there the view is worth it….

Bow Dome

Today, the R/V Melville is the only ship  in our fleet that still has the bow dome.

At night when you sit down there with the lights off, you can see the bioluminescence of the zooplankton as the water flushes by the windows, it looked liked we were in space with stars flying by and we sailed at “light speed” through the water. It was a great way to end a great month.


This trip has taught me a lot about how oceanographers work at sea and what science looks like in the field. Oceanography is a field thats takes a lot of subjects and combines them. I am very lucky that I was able to work with everyone on this trip. I would like to thank Scripps Institution of Oceanography for having me and all of the researchers for sharing a little of their world with me.

Science Crew on CCE 2012

Science Crew on CCE 2012

If anyone has any addition questions, the best way to reach me is dlebental@yahoo.com. Signing off from the R/V Melville from the 2012 CCE-LTER Cruise in the Pacific Ocean!

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