It ended up being 4 days, 9 sampling sites, 289 photos, over 400 miles, too much junk food, and (undoubtedly) gallons of sunscreen later that we boarded the plane in New Orleans. We had a great time in NOLA and though we joked about taking shots at 10am on Bourbon Street, we didn’t actually do it:
So in retrospect (and with some refreshing sleep in my own bed), I think this trip was an absolute success. I don’t know exactly how many sand patty samples we collected, but I do know that Max will have plenty to analyze for the remaining 3 weeks we have for summer research. As for me, it will be strange going back to my coral samples after such a thrilling journey from Pensacola to New Orleans with the amazing White and Reddy labs. I’m already looking forward to doing the exact same thing next summer (well, minus the sunburns and the stress in Atlanta) and we haven’t even unpacked the samples from this trip yet!
In any case, you can bet that we’ll be coming back to the beautiful beaches of the Gulf Coast for more sun, more sand, and more samples before too long!