T21 has been that magic number for the OA students since we learned that it was going to be our last day a week ago. After three weeks, it seems like we’ve been doing this forever – waking up and being on the dock by 8:30, rain or shine. We’d laugh at the (sometimes ridiculous) LICOR readings, chat around the sampler, exclaim over the weather, look for sea creatures around the dock, and try to catch photos of our tech, Barbara, and her seriously awesome sunglasses.
In some ways, I’ll really miss that – the familiarity of it all, how we’ve bonded over this experience and each found a bit of a niche in the early-morning dock environment. But I won’t miss waking up at 7:30 every morning, regardless of the day of the week. I’m looking forward to having weekends again. I’m also excited to begin looking at the data we’ve been gathering for the last 22 days, where before I’ve been too busy processing samples to truly look at and analyze the data we’ve been collecting.
To celebrate the end of the experiment, we went to South Beach after dinner. It was a chance for all of us to unwind, and revel in the fact that we no longer had the thought of sampling next morning weighing on our shoulders. It was more of a grill fire (complete with copious amounts of s’mores) than a bonfire, but it was a peaceful, fulfilling end to the experiment-related part of this quarter. Now onto writing our research papers!