While the last few members of the scientific party arrive, the ship crew are busy preparing the RRS Discovery to set sail. The checklist includes checking all the crew members’ documentation, equipment, plenty of fuel and food for a month-long journey. Before we depart we all had a mandatory Health and Safety presentation. H&S is of utmost importance especially because we will be in a remote area away from any immediate assistance in case of an emergency. To make our cruise a bit more interesting, we had an additional security briefing – apparently there are pirates in the region!! A security consultant, an ex-marine I believe, was on board ensuring that the ship was “hardened” and a citadel built for us within the ship for any potential pirate attack!!
It is 8 pm. We gathered on the upper deck to see Tenerife town from afar while the RSS Discovery sails out of port. Tenerife bid us a colourful farewell as the town was in a frenzy of light and buzz while the Gran Canaries celebrate the last day of carnival. As we head south and the party fades away, the sound of the ship breaking the waves gets stronger and the ambience gets darker – the perfect setting to watch millions of stars above us.