17 Aug 2014, by Matthew Shupe [74N, 171W]:
Tonight was the End of Cruise Dinner, special occasion where there is a nice meal, table clothes, wine. Everyone dressed their best. The evening was kicked off with fantastic pre-dinner entertainment by Marcus, Celia, and Kseniia. Marcus on the clarinet, and the ladies singing a duet. First song was New York, New York, but reworked to be Barrow, Barrow. Clever lyrics and amazing voices. Sometimes I’m floored by the skills that others have in addition to begin scientists! Just following the music, we had another special guest. Nothing sends people scrambling faster than someone exclaiming “Polar Bear!” This one came right up to the ship as we were parked, clearly following her nose towards our waiting dinner. She was injured on her hind leg, possibly from a confrontation with a walrus. Continually sniffing the air, she hung around for a long time as we tackled our meals inside; Ours certainly easier to catch than hers. During the dinner there were toasts and each person was individually recognized for their contributions to the expedition. All received a small bottle of Arctic Ocean sediment as a souvenir of our adventure. Then the dinner turned into an evening of fun and relaxation with friends, saunas, duct-tape bow ties, and a little dancing. During the night we also entered a time warp as the ship sailed back 8 hours and we adjusted ourselves to Barrow time. Still catching my bearings from that change.