In the morning of Nov. 29. the Atlantis reaches Manzanillo; the pilot boat has just dropped the pilot who will navigate us to safe anchorage in the busy harbor, the largest on Mexico’s Pacific coast. The scenery no longer bears any resemblance to the deserts of Sonora and Baja California; Manzanillo is seriously tropical.
Everyone is gazing at the town, familiar to many science crew members as the base of the 2016 Guaymas cruise. A word cloud of these cruise participants’ thoughts would certainly feature various beverages, the pleasure of walking on land, exploring the town, and finally overloaded taxis to the airport, and the long journey home. This blogger will spend much of the day in Manzanillo, running errands and sending samples off to Mexican collaborators via Fedex. Others will simply enjoy a leisurely walk and some shopping. Manzanillo has decades of experience in entertaining tourists!
The official end-of-cruise party takes place at the Hotel Colonial, an atmospheric and old-fashioned place near the harbor. Their margaritas are perhaps a little too sweet, but the grilled shrimp and the shrimp ceviche [subtly flavored with oregano, not cilantro] are excellent! And the company is great too; some Mexican friends and aficionados of WHOI live in town and help the science party to celebrate.
Instead of questionable pictures, we post this lovely shot of “Team Crustacean”, Javier and Thorsten. Their collaboration on bacterial epibionts growing on vent crabs will perhaps lead to a post-cruise meeting in Baja California…
Tomorrow, most science crew members will head to the airport, carrying lots of samples, fresh data, and many good memories. While the 2016 cruise was beset by customs and logistics problems, the expedition-style planning and cruise arrangement has avoided these pitfalls, and ensured a generally smooth and successful cruise. A big “Thank you” to the Atlantis crew, the Alvin and Sentry groups who kept everything together and did a wonderful job in making this a great cruise!
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Thank you for visiting and following, and for sharing this expedition with everyone who is interested!
Andreas Teske, UNC -Chapel Hill, firstname.lastname@example.org