Diary entryDiary entry
Celebratin_ last_air_lift_2.jpg
Celebrating the last air-lift sampling on the Argus
A happy Hana Hudcova on the last day
Core_Team_received_Argus T-shirts_after sampling_last_station2b.jpg
Core Team receives Argus T-shirts after sampling last station
The last sample of macrozoobenthos
Danube red wines competed - Romania won
The expedition approaches the Danube Delta
The wild shores of the Sulina arm, Danube Delta Romania
Above the river on the last sampling day
Location map

The sampling is finished!The sampling is finished!

Location: St. Gheorghe, Romania
Early in the morning of the 27th, the ships went through a three-hour border check before passing again back into Romania from Ukraine. By 11:00, the team had already been able to sample the second-last site (#95) at the Sulina arm. Given the early time and high spirits, the team collectively decided to press onto Site 96 at St. Gheorghe - the last site of the survey -- even though Site 96 was scheduled for sampling only two days later!

Meanwhile, during the afternoon in Tulcea, an additional event was coordinated by Romania's environment ministry. Information was provided to local mayors and officials in Tulcea County about financing for wastewater and water supply infrastructure. Presentations included Johannes Laber from Austria's Communal Credit Dexia Bank, one of the JDS2's private sponsors, speaking about the bank's services in supporting local municipalities.

On arrival to the last site, JDS2 Team Leader Bela Csanyi proudly announced over the Argus horn: "Last sampling station!" And so it was. At approximately 18:00, after the last sampling of mussels, sediment, suspended solids and everything else that had to be collected, the JDS2 team was finally, finally, finally finished. They had successfully sampled all 96 sites on the Danube River and 28 on its tributaries, two days ahead of schedule! The programme was complete.

In celebration, the ‘Black Trio' (known for their constantly wearing black wetsuits) of Hungary's Bela Csanyi, Serbia's Momir Paunovic and Slovakia's Jarmilla Makovinska jumped into the Danube's ever-welcoming waters. And the rest of the crew began a long and warm round of hugs, thanks and congratulations.

The JDS2 ships brought their happy crews back to Tulcea by 20:00. Soon after, the wine competition began. Early on in the survey weeks before, team members had initiated a wine competition where wines collected from each country would be judged at the survey's end. Wines would also be kept under the tightest security. The jury was composed of the ICPDR's Philip Weller and Igor Liska, as well as JDS2 Team Leader Bela Csanyi and Technical Coordinator Jaroslav Slobodnik. Categories included bouquet, taste and colour, and 13 wines were evaluated - six white and seven red. And the winners are.... Slovakia for best white and Romania for best red! And after that, of course, there was more celebration with dancing on-board the Szechenyi.

And so it was. The JDS2 sampling sites, all done.

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