Day 14 The voyage comes to an end but the lessons I learned will continue: Christian Halverson

By October 9th, 2017

group photo

I finished with the last of the sediment core sampling at 4 am on Saturday morning and awoke to the final day around 8 am. Sunrise might have been nice but I hope you understand why I did not make it. Time today was spent spotting sea snakes, more bird and predatory fish interactions and the final debrief for arrival at Broome tomorrow morning.

Broome has some fascinating aspects about the harbour. At present it undergoes a tidal change of nine metres and can be very tricky for vessels to remain alongside the jetty. Your crew really need to know what they are doing. Broome also has a nice deep water entry but on the seaside is a flat expanse of sand that can go as low as two metres, so sticking to the channel is essential.

With the trip coming to a close, I thought I’d share my highlights. As a teacher, and one time biologist, with a real interest in oceanography, the time spent observing the birds, cetaceans, fish, reptiles, jellyfish and algal slicks, and the ongoing discussion as to why we were witnessing the “greatest show on earth”, will leave a lasting impression. Really though, the biggest impact was appreciating that I was in a floating moving mini-university on steroids. Surrounded by biologists, geophysicists, data analysts, technical specialists, hydrochemists, marine atmosphere scientists, marine social scientists, engineers, navigators, captains, cooks, stewards, electricians, deckhands and communication specialists was a real insight into how science should be done.

These diverse people have passion, love their jobs and bounce ideas and concepts back and forth across disciplines. I feel, in the very short time I spent on Investigator, that this is how science should be done. I am a realist and realise that science can’t always happen this way. But there are fewer barriers here, ideas are mulled over with expertise that would be hard to instantly access in even the best educational facilities. Well done CSIRO and the Marine National Facility, thank you.

As for me let’s hope my students, and others beyond my school, continue to gain benefit from my experiences and connections with Investigator and the real stars, the people.

There are always thank yous at the end and no doubt I will miss many people. Thus, I will give a more general note of appreciation. A very big thank you to the science personnel of Investigator and the brilliant ASP crew, your efforts have inspired me.

There are a few that need a personal thanks. Ben Arthur and Chantelle Cook, Vicki and Elle on shore, Linda and Hugh, John and Brendan and Tom, Eric and Francis, Amy and Stu, Aaron and Will, Pam and Steve, Cassie, Morgane, Katie, Jesse, Chris and Sam, JC, Gary and Emma, Andy and Adrian, Graham and the deck crew.