The title comes from the words of House Martell of The Song of Ice and Fire books. They have a nice ring to them, and it was a nerdy way to console myself when last weekend I arrived to the buoy of my plastic sampling system, just to find the set of cages gone.
Of course this is not new for me. Experiments have a way to go wrong for many reasons besides human error. I was warned by several of my friends who have done environmental sampling that there was always a risk for people tampering with them. My other concern were the surf and the waves, but after one week the system looked robust, so I stopped worrying. Big mistake.
So we paddled back after I dipped my tubes in the water to at least have a set of water samples. Calls and visits to lifeguard and water authorities did not brought any information, so I had to accept that my cages (and several weeks of preparation) were gone.
Life goes on. New cages have been ordered, and I am in the lookout of other, less visible location. To be honest, I prefer to tackle this problem to cell lines contaminated with Mycoplasma. But still…