A premature ending

Some sad news from Cabo Verde

10 January 2022

Location: 42.3 N, 71.1 W

Some sad news from the A13.5 cruise: unfortunately, we will not be able to sail this year. A confluence of unfortunate events, including a generator on the ship requiring pretty major repairs as well as several members of the crew contracting Covid-19, has made the cruise unfeasible. It was decided that the best decision for the health and safety of the people and equipment involved in the cruise was that the cruise be called off. The ship will be sailing back to Miami to go into dry dock repairs over the next few weeks and the members of the science team are already flying back to the USA.

Tide pools on the beach in Praia. I can see urchins, algae, and some

A13.5 Chief Scientist Denis Pierrot looks out at the port of Praia where the NOAAS Ronald H. Brown was previously docked. Photo by Zach Erickson.

In our last few days in Praia, we took some time to appreciate the beauty of Cabo Verde. A highlight was getting a tour of the Praia lighthouse from Jorge, the lighthouse security guard. Jorge’s family has been watching over the lighthouse for over 35 years and it gets visitors from all over the world. We got some beautiful views of Praia at sunset, which was a great way to say goodbye to this awesome city.

Map of the Cabo Verde archipelago off the coast of Africa. The pink star marks Praia, where the ship is docked. You can see that the islands are at about the same latitude as the Sahara desert.

Sam, me, Jade, Sidney, and Katey, all student members of the A13.5 science team, pose at the Praia lighthouse. Jorge, the lighthouse security guard, gave us a fantastic tour.

While it is frustrating that the cruise was canceled, thankfully those who were sick are recovering well and everyone else has continued to follow protocols and test negative for Covid-19. A lot of scientific fields have been impacted by Covid-19 and oceanography is no exception. Hopefully those sailing on future cruises can learn from our experience and thank you to everyone around the world who is working to stop the spread of Covid-19 by masking, getting vaccinated and boosted, and taking care of their friends and family.

 Thank you for following along with this unfortunately abbreviated blog and I hope to be writing to you from sea again soon!