The weather has been deteriorating over the last 2 days with the seas building as a north wind came down from a storm thousands of miles north. The problem is that the SSB site at the north end cannot be loaded near the shore because of rough terrain at that end of the island. All the equipment had to be carried a quarter of a mile to the CW site at the south end for loading into the ship. The team passed to the pilots that there would be a meeting at 0100Z with the captain to decide whether or not to leave.
The seas will be getting even worse over the next 24 hours and the decision apparently has been made to "pull the plug" because "QRT for good" was copied at 0040Z and spotted at 0050Z. The lack of SSB today was also an indication that they had started to dismantle the north or SSB site and begin tearing it down to the staging area.
The goal was 70,000 QSOs, and even though they had to leave early by about 21 hours, they will have come very close. There were a lot of happy campers around the world as 80 meter SSB signals from a low dipole filled the logs of the Deserving on the last night. There was no 160 meter operation as the goal from the beginning was to get the new one into the logs of as many DXers as possible rather than get a "clean sweep" for just a few.
The weather has been watched closely the whole time and because this is still typhoon season there was always the possibility of having to cut short the stay. In the end, it looks like Mother Nature, while providing the best weather at the Chesterfields in three months, finally moved in.