11.09.2010

Oh yes, there is science too...

I haven't talked much about the science we are doing this cruise and now we are almost completed. So maybe I should get talking.


I believe the focus of this study is sediment focusing and erosion off the coast of Central America, specifically near Cocos Ridge, Carnegie Ridge and Peru Basin. First we would do some surveying with our seismic system and multi-beam. Then we would pick a few sites from that survey to take samples of the sediment using either piston cores, gravity cores or multi-cores. There was some water sampling done too.

For the most part everything has run pretty smoothly. Seismic for a few days, stop and do a few cores for a few days. Do a water cast. This last site gave us a few problems. We had lots and lots of mammals for a change which requires shutting down.

This is me, running my deck and deploying my seismic gear...
We also had some problems with fishing gear in the water. They create a threat to the gear we tow in a seismic survey. However, the fishing gear was probably a good indication for what would happen later that night. Around two A. M. in the middle of coring, we were completely surrounded by mahi tuna.

It led to a little of this...
and a little of that...
and eventually, as the sun started to come up, some of...
Yesterday we spent stuck in the mud. A core proved difficult to pull out of the sediment and for about 21 hours were were stuck. We moved the boat a little and pulled on the wire, the moved the boat a little and pulled on the wire, in four different directions. Then we centered ourselves over it again and tried to pull straight out. There was nothing we could do, after maintaining a tension of 22,000 lbs most of the evening, the wire finally snapped around 30,000 lbs.

This happened while I was sleeping. I remember waking up at some point in the night, I don't know if it was a noise or a rocking or what, but I thought to myself, "We must be unstuck." And when right back to sleep. It must have been the wire breaking and whipping around the deck because the coring takes place right above my room.

We are surveying for two more days, then hauling gear and heading for Arrica, Chile. Along the way, these 'wogs on board will pay for their transgression, violating the realm of King Neptune.

Let the fun begin!

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