Unbelievably, we are now homeward bound. At 1900 hours, the last CTD cast was completed, collecting water for a final grazing experiment. After that the marine technicians, with the assistance of scientists, got busy dismantling the larger pieces of gear, and bringing equipment inside. The Camera system with the 300 lbs of lead weight was hauled in and the heat turned up. On ship science of course is continuing for a few days, as incubations run their due course, live cultures are taken care of and some last on ship measurements are made. While the scientists were busy cleaning up and packing their equipment, the Nathaniel B. Palmer was occupied with 2 local missions, assisting Palmer station and the Lawrence Gould. After these missions were complete at 2100 hours on Friday night, the NBP turned northeast and started heading up the Gerlache straight for the long way home to Punta Arenas, which is not even home for most of us. We will be in Antarctica until June 9th at midnight and then headed into the Drake passage. The weather does not look as calm as on the way over, so we might get to see the Drake at its famous, stormy state. Irrespective, we are now irreversibly homeward bound and the excitement is evident in the scientists and the crew, some of whom are ending several months of deployment for a much deserved holiday.