DrGw390 – Cape Town, here we come

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June 15, 2022 by Dr. G

(*If you missed my first post on my JOIDES Resolution adventure, I encourage you to start with DrGw390 – Week of quarantine. All posts will be tagged with #DrGw390.)

On May 23 we pulled out of Site U1559 and started our transit back to end the expedition by docking in Cape Town, South Africa. This post has a collection of my tweets during our transit and until we were able to depart from JOIDES Resolution to officially end Expedition 390, our part of the South Atlantic Transect.


Although our drilling activities ended on May 23, the education/outreach activities were still going strong! I had eight more ship-to-shore broadcasts on my schedule, and some exciting blogging/social media activities with the National Marine Educators Association, as well as the American Geophysical Union (AGU) Sharing Science program!

It’s amazing how many more times you head out to view the sunset when you know your time is winding down at sea.

…and how much ice cream you want to consume…

First it was the National Marine Educators Association (NMEA) news article, then the Instagram takeover from the JR!

We all made sure that as we shifted to writing final reports during our transit back, we took some moments to laugh and enjoy each other’s company – at least, until the cards come out.

It was so much fun to have the opportunity to do Twitter and Instagram takeovers while on the JR. What a great way to share more of what we’re doing on the ship with wider/new audiences (and with those familiar with our work, too!).

You recall what I just posted about the sunsets…

Not only did my tours continue, I kept blogging as well. This post was one I had previously written but not yet posted, but the timing was now right to talk about transiting to Cape Town – the JR, and the H.M.S. Challenger from its historic voyage 150 years ago.

Still counting down days left on the ship…. and last opportunities to eat some of our favorite meals.

Apparently, my sunset photos were well-received by others on Twitter! So I had to fulfill a special request.

Last full day of transit towards Cape Town.

We made it! We arrive at the dock, but we’re not getting off the ship just yet. So close to stepping on land, yet so far…

At least in port, we have more to look at here versus when we were in the open ocean – like more ocean creatures!

One good thing about being in port…. although we couldn’t leave the ship, items were able to join us on the ship, like fresh food!

Now that all of the reports have been turned in, what’s left to do during our last night on the ship?

Ah, the day has arrived for the scientists to depart the JR. We waved goodby to the technicians and crew as we began our long walk to officially enter back into the country.

We settled back into the same hotel we started this journey from – but this time, not in quarantine! I left my flight home on the same original date, instead of shifting to an earlier date. Since I have no idea if/when I would ever get back to Cape Town, I connected with my new science friends and saw some exciting sites around South Africa!

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Finished this fun data visualization/quilt top that shares the daily Sky Cover measurements from @joides_resolution #EXP390. As sky cover is recorded in units zero to eight, I chose eight different batik fabrics to represent the scale (the deepest blue batik for the blue sky, and the darkest/black batik for when the sky was completely clouded over, and all shades of blue/grey in-between). As the expedition officially was April 7 thru June 7, 2022, there are 62 pieces of data/batik strips. The background fabric is filled with golden stars for the sky, and the bright gold border is my nod to our port city, where the fabric was purchased.
Thank you @SciHistoryOrg for hosting Start Talking Science 2022 - so great to be able to present alongside other Philly scientists about the work we do to a non-STEM audience of all ages! And a great opportunity to share the mission and how we do science at sea on @theJR #EXP390 #EXP393
Back at @pennlivearts this evening to hear the @blindboysofalabama - so incredible, so inspirational! The new songs were great, but my all-time favorite will always be Amazing Grace sung to The House of the Rising Sun (check it out if you have never heard this innovative mashup).
🎼 I love live New Orleans jazz - and tonight, I didn’t have to go to New Orleans, as the jazz came to me! 🎶 Such a fun concert by @newbreed_brassband. 🎵 The best part - the sousaphone player’s high school band teacher was there & brought his trumpet on stage and joined them for a few songs. 🎺 After the first song, he said he was getting emotional, as he was so proud of the group. I get it, teacher, I’m there with you.
Added something new to my teaching space this fall - images of @joides_resolution, expedition patches, and the combined IODP, ODP, & DSDP drill site map! Thanks so much to Brittany (JRSO) for updating the map and getting the sites for #EXP390 & #EXP393 on there! Excited to have these in place before doing a ship-to-shore broadcast later this month (it will be a little strange being on the other side of the iPad this time, but can't wait to share this experience with my students).
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