Just a few minutes left before boarding and then starts the nine and a half hours direct flight to Bangkok. The trip to SE Asia is short compared to the return flight, which will be almost twelve hours, plus the flight from Singapore to Bangkok and waiting in Bangkok for the flight home. But all this won’t happen until in a month’s time – so nothing to worry about at the moment.
Rienk has already arrived in Bangkok, and the new small corer and all the water sampling equipment have also crossed the Thai boundary. Will be interesting to see how and if we manage to get the gravity corer and Rienk’s stuff across the Myanmar border. It will also be interesting to see if we will get the equipment that has been sent by DHL to Yangon in time for the fieldwork next week.
Ever wanted some excitement in your life? Then try to send coring equipment across boarders and try to take all your samples back home again. This, for me is the most nerve-wracking thing I can imagine!
Fieldwork is very costly and each of the samples we manage to get is thus terrible precious to us at least. To others it may just seem to be loads of uninteresting mud! But imagine the time that goes into writing a research proposal, then all the costs involved to travel to a place and search for the best site to core, then sending the heavy equipment across borders, then the whole coring procedure, and finally getting the sediment cores back home again. But this is only half of the story, because at home and in the laboratory all the expensive analyses start, and not to forget the time that will go into writing up the story and pay for being able to publish open access. One cm of mud may thus amount to thousands of kronor. Is it really worth it? My answer is of course yes, but may need much more explanation. But no time for it now, because it is boarding time!