The current cruise marks my 29th oceanographic expedition on a research ship. Each successful expedition and operation relies heavily on the knowledge, experience and instincts of the vessel crew. When I participate in a cruise, I make it my business to learn about about the operation of the gear we use, so that I can improve my planning efforts, and maximize my time at sea. Over the past five cruises, I have been accumulating data on what make for a perfect deployment of a deep-sea multicorer. Much of that data has been furnished by the ship’s engineer, and winch operator. Perfection of a sampling event for me means sufficient replicate cores to conduct the entirety of our biogeochemical and microbiological examination of the sedimentary habitat. Perfection for them means recovering the gear, maintaining safety, and providing material for scientists to work with. I produce graphs to illustrate my results. So too does the ship’s crew. Below is a photo that speaks volumes about a “perfect” operation. And it looks very similar to the image of an echo cardiogram of a beating heart, ready for scientific discovery.