February 12: Arriving in Freeport, Bahamas
Winds gusted to 45 knots on a cold and blustery morning as we approached Freeport, Bahamas. The moody weather mirrored our mixed emotions as the expedition came to an end. For the Lone Ranger, the return to port begins a new chapter in her long and storied history as she is decommissioned from the scientific fleet of the Schmidt Ocean Institute to become a global expedition vessel once again.
Now the ship’s crew are preparing to join the R/V Falkor, the Schmidt Ocean Institute’s newest research vessel. The R/V Falkor is currently at a shipyard in Germany where work to retrofit the vessel with cutting-edge scientific support facilities and equipment is nearing completion and delivery is expected in March 2012.
—Debbie Nail Meyer