10/23/05 - Steaming to port
We have been watching the weather carefully. We hoped to get two sub dives in on Sunday, October 23 before heading into port. Although the skies were a little gray, we launched the sub at 8:00 am. After it had been on the bottom for about five minutes, we had to cancel the dive and bring the sub to the surface. The conditions had deteriorated rapidly and we wanted to get the sub back on board before recovery became dangerous. Tara Cassaza was in the bow and Melissa Patryka was in the stern. They made the most of their short dive and caught a small rat tail fish.
As soon as the sub was back on board, we secured all of the gear and starting steaming towards Charleston. It was a little bit rough, and it was exciting to watch the swells wash over the deck or splash over the bow. Everyone broke out their raingear and rubber boots. When we got a little closer to shore and the seas calmed down a bit, we all caught up with our computer work.
We knew we were getting closer to shore when we started seeing shorebirds, monarchs, and smaller vessels. We watched the port of Charleston appear on the horizon as the ship's crew got out the lines to secure us to the dock. As we steamed up river several of us watched a mature Bald Eagle hunting for fish.
Although we feel as if we are on a good-sized vessel, the Seward Johnson was dwarfed by the Navy ships and Coast Guard vessels at the same dock. We had dinner on board followed by a short science meeting. It is strange to walk around without the rocking motion of the ship, but we are glad we are not out in a big storm.
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