Early Sunday morning, various crewmembers disembarked in Chipiona. Only 6 of us were left on board ready to take turns on watch during the last trip of the 2009 campaign. Our destination port: Sagunto, in Valencia.
Carlos has been the captain of the Oceana Ranger since October 10 and he decided to test the engines on the trip back to Sagunto. “You have to make them work hard. If they are going to act up, it’s better they do it now and not at the beginning of the next campaign.” So we took advantage of a “window” to cross the Straits and headed towards Gibraltar to fill the tanks and spend the night docked at La Linea de la Concepcion. Paying close attention to the weather forecast, we dediced to set sail to Almeria on October 18, midday. Alborán, Cabo de Gata, Cabo Palos, La Nao, … a well known route for the Oceana Ranger and its crewmembers.
We reached Sagunto early on Wednesday morning and officially closed this year’s campaign.
Actually, at this point, many of us are torn between two emotions, because we’re tired and the work has been intense and life on board makes us want to finally get back on land. On the other hand, the significance of the activities we developed and our success working on the high seas make us want to keep going.
This year, we are especially happy. We all know we reached the objectives established at the beginning of the expedition and appreciate the importance of our findings in the Canary Islands. The 2009 campaign has been special because we were able to document and identify habitats and species living at up to 700 meters depth. Also, we established good relations while scientists and local environmental groups collaborated with us to reach a common objective: to advance in the conservation of sea beds and marine resources in the Canary Islands. We feel the campaign has been a complete success.
Hey! … don’t forget about us. There’s more to come… next year!