After his unprecedented nine-year stint as chairman of the Department of Oceanography at Florida State University, my husband, David Thistle, needed a sabbatical, so as soon as he stepped down from the chairmanship, in August of 2003, he began the application process and set about planning for two long-contemplated projects with French colleagues, Laurence Guidi-Guilvard of the Laboratoire d'Océanographie de Villefranche-sur-Mer and Miriam Sibuet of the IFREMER lab in Brest. I, faithful spouse (and avid francophile) Anne Thistle, got permission from my FSU department to accompany him.

After lengthy planning and preparation, the dates were set--January through June of 2005--and the great adventure began . . . .

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