The ship is not so surprisingly quiet today due to the success of last night’s party. Before describing the CTD party I should state that all names have been changed to protect the innocent and guilty alike, and that no embellishment was necessary to improve the story.

As I mentioned yesterday our challenge was to make a costume that began with C, T or D and whoever said scientists weren’t creative clearly hasn’t been to a ship board party. Cross-dressing was a popular theme with prizes going to the incredibly accurate impersonation of our female deputy voyage leader by a male and likewise a bearded lady pulling off an instantly identifiable portrayal of one of the crew. Prizes were also awarded to the transvestite “Greg” who appeared in a particularly smashing maroon formal number, only to insist on wearing every other dress at the party meaning that costumes were swapped faster than drinks were consumed. Well perhaps not that quickly, but enough for the mess whiteboard to be covered with messages this morning such as “Could the person with my orange crew jumpsuit please return it to Cabin H4?”. Other notable mentions need to go to the Camera, yes with moving parts, the Tea Bag complete with tassels and Cleopatra and here exceptional headdress. In any case it was a great night and we all got to know each other a little better, some a bit more than necessary. All I can say is that I am glad that “Bob” DIDN’T actually come as someone with Tourette Syndrome so that he could shout obscenities intermittently, but thank you for the demonstration anyway. And high visibility vests should never double as pants, no they shouldn’t.

There was of course a more serious side to the evening with the auction for the ship’s flag and map. The crew of the Aurora support Camp Quality; a charitable organization that seeks to improve the lives of children with cancer. I was quite excited as I had been given the authority to bid on behalf of the ABC folks and anyone who knows me can attest to my love of spending other people’s money. However I was outbid rather quickly with the flag going for $2500 and the map for $2800. This is not entirely surprising as on one of the previous voyages one of the crew paid $700 for the last chocolate bar. They are a charitable bunch that is for sure.

It was a well timed relaxing day as tomorrow we start to work. We are likely to hit our mooring sites sometime in the afternoon and I shall get a chance to get my hands wet so to speak. I have volunteered to help the carbonate chemistry group and will dance around the CTD when it first comes out of the watery depths to sample for pH. I’ve been told to bring gloves; the water is a little chilly.