Time to bid farewell to Palmyra and steam on to Kingman Reef. The researchers had enjoyed the luxury of the ample lab space at the PARC research station, but now all their gear and equipment is back on board the Hanse Explorer. For the rest of the expedition, their laboratories will be whatever unoccupied niches they can find scattered about the ship. Palmyra was indeed splendid. Can it really get even better?
As their time at Palmyra drew to a close, the Benthic Team sent us a few more pictures from their days on this stunning reef. Particularly exciting was the first use of their custom-designed and self-assembled benthic tents. As described in more detail on The Science page, these innovative structures, each furnished with sophisticated monitoring devices, are a key component for their planned measurements of productivity of the reef benthos (primarily the corals and algae). Given that the tents are so photogenic, as well as important, I can almost guarantee that we will be seeing more of them as the Benthic Team makes similar measurements at the other atolls.