Possibly our last day today. We did some ATMOS team photos. The Leg 1 crew. The joint crew. And then the Leg 2 crew. We’ve handed the torch and now will be eager fans waiting to hear information from the field. I’m feeling this cavity starting to form inside my chest. Already feeling a sense of loss, a sense of melancholy. Am I happy to go home? Perhaps. Would I prefer to stay? Perhaps. Nothing feels that settled at the moment, not internally in my mind. It is tough to walk away. Today I watched from the bridge as a team raced out to the ROV tent, to rescue it from the crack that was forming right beneath it…. A bit of the inner urge to pull on the gear and head out, but in the end, it is not my problem any longer. I felt oddly detached. Also, one last chance to head out to Met City today. I was the bear guard for the new team as they went through their daily checks. I sat back and watched, not much feedback. But is it not medoing those things anymore. Melancholy. Strange how this whole adventure started out that way as well. Certainly a different melancholy at that time, but a related feeling nonetheless. Some part loss, some part nervousness, and I guess also some part exhaustion. I slept 9+ hours last night. Yet even having a very full night’s sleep, I’m still exhausted. I’m feeling all of these different levels of soreness coming to the surface; I guess this ride back home will be a chance to work out the ingrained issues. The deep tired. The sore body. The internal challenges that arise from this process of working together in close quarters with so many people. The lack of reference to time-of-day or day-of-week. There is such a long ways to go, both literally and figuratively, before getting home and being able to re-integrate into a normal life back in Colorado.

The two ships together for the exchange. Photo: Alfred-Wegener-Institut / Esther Horvath and Jakob Stark (CC-BY 4).

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