Our regular series of AL454 posts will end with two final posts from me, Jan, chief scientist on AL454.
On April 29th at 7 am Alkor entered Kiel harbor, and after discharging our equipment, the cruise was officially over. As after every cruise, archiving of the many thousands of samples taken, sorting, editing and entering of the underlying data in databases, dealing with the work accumulated during the absence, and (for some of use) preparing the upcoming May cruise AL457 with Alkor completely took up our time afterwards, so please excuse the gap in blog posts since then.
After the initial technical problems (see second blog post), we benefited from ideal working weather and high motivation of everyone on board and were able to complete nearly all of the work we had initially planned (see first blog post), covering hundreds of different stations in Kiel Bight, Arkona Basin, Bornholm Basin, Gdansk Deep and Gotland Basin, along a cruise track of over 1800 nautical miles.
Scientifically, this cruise successfully expanded a time series compiled by the efforts of many people over the past 30 years. All data and samples that we wanted to collect were collected. The scientific analyses will now take many more months and in some cases even years. We will give some insights into first results in the course of 2015, by posting links to our cruise reports and to scientific publications.
A big thank you to all participants and crew members for the great work, good working atmosphere, and the fun on board!