Friday, March 6, 2009

Nearing the End, Water Taxi, Lunch Room, and Leslie's Pic

We are nearing the end of our research cruise and we have obtained and preserved thousands of samples over the past few weeks. Although I didn't get to dive in Alvin, the trip was worth it. It was also nice to work with some people outside of the tree-ring community. I will update the blog probably one or two more times at the most before returning to "The Haute". Most of the work has been repetitive, which is why the posts have been lacking recently.

We will be leaving the ship on the 9th and commuting towards San Jose, Costa Rica. Plans currently are to explore around the Monteverde area, eat a slice a pizza, and drink some Mt. Dew and maybe some more Guanabana....boy am I excited.

Since there is not a decent place to dock our ship, we have to take a water taxi in to Puntarenus and catch a cab to San Jose.

(Water Taxi)

Some of you expressed interest in seeing what the lunch room looked like....T.V. shows different camera angles of sections of Atlantis.....No cable........

(Taking water samples for PH and DO)

(Up close and personal.....just for you Leslie.....enjoy:)

Monday, March 2, 2009

Positioning and CTD Deployment In Rough Waters

This is a map from the captains deck that shows the exact positioning of the boat and where the drops have been. The red dots indicate where drops have been made. Today we are currently sampling with the CTD at 1800m, two samples. Do to the weather conditions, we are kind of in limbo about what is going to happen tonight, with respect to coring. I just got word that we are headed back to Jarco Scarp to do some more sampling. The Navy said that they are advising us to leave the area and try a place with calmer waters.

Today's recovery of the CTD were much more interesting than usual, the rough water made trying to grab onto the ropes an interesting game. But it also made for a rougher than usual night of sleeping. A few people got sick because of the hours on end under a scope of moving sediments. I had to take a few Drammamine and Mecklazine tablet in order stay "normal".

Here are a few pictures of the worm tubes, inside and out. When they are cut into sections, they are little easier to process.

(Getting excited about deploying the CTD)
Being a "Hooker"


Above is the site where you can find information on where our current position is. Just click under the current research cruise link. There you can also find pictures of all the scientists under the Cruise Parcipants, along with the Alvin and Atlantis crews. There are also many pictures taken from the various dives on the trip listed under the Alvin Internal Still Pictures link.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Styrofoam, Jason's Nixon, and Cooler

We brought along a styrofoam head that everyone on board signed, along with styrofoam cups. I cups with Bella and Sommer's names on them. Bella's cup has a drawing of ALVIN retrieving "Night Night Bear" from the great depths.

The Nalgene bottle was used for scale. Originally, the dive was thought to be going 1000m, however, it ended up going over 2000m. The head seems to weigh more than it did before, but its just the condensed version which throws things off a bit, obviously it weighs the same.

Jason, his best Nixon......his first time going down in Alvin was today. He has been on a ship before that was carrying ALvin, but there are only so many spots. I have done the math.....I don't think that I'm going to make it down on my maiden voyage, but keep your fingers crossed.

It is customary to give the person taking their first dive in Alvin to get drenched in cold water. Brian and I filled some buckets with ice, poured some sea water in so it wouldn't freeze, and stuck the buckets in a freezer for about 30 minutes before dousing him.

Some pictures of things in the cooler. These worms are tough to pick "forams" from, because of the constant rotating that is envolved.

Anyone have questions about anything? Click on the "comments" link and type me something. Nobody has done that yet????? and thanks to Chuck for passing the blog around to a few others.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Slicing and Rinsing till Early Morning

(After slicing the mud, they are then put into either a Nalgene bottle or some flip wrap. Each sample is combined with one table spoon of Borax, 100ml of water, and 100ml of 8% mix solution of sea water and formaldehyde.)

Slicing and rinsing of the sediments becomes an unbearable part of the day after many hours of doing it. It makes the nights drag after about 2 or 3 in the morning. We have found that listening to Michael Jackson, Def Leppard, and Gun's N Roses, aids in passing time while we extracting [these bands also make us revert to being 8 years old again.....and little giddy]. Elena is starting to get tired of all the country music, so she lets us listen to whatever, as long as its not country....although she doesn't mind "Hank the 3rd".

(This is a yeddi crab that was brought by Alvin's dive this morning)

Today was one of the better days I've had, as far as work loads are concerned. We didn't deploy the multi-core tonight because we are starting to run out of space and bottles. This made for a pretty easy night. We only had to process the cores from Alvin's dive this morning, measure worms, and pick some "forams". Not bad considering what we have been doing.

We had a nice dinner tonight, tuna and rice, which is one of my favorite meals. There was a little bit of butternut squash, which I passed on, but I had seconds on the cappaccino eclairs, topped with whipped cream...........oooohhhh buddy!!!

(Me at 5:00am in the morning after a long day)

(Good night)

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Corn, Crabs, Squid, and Multi-core Work

What the....mmmmmm????? (Atlanta's Airport)

Calamari anyone...last night me and few others ended up catching 28 squid while we were waiting for the Multi-core to surface. The Multi-core sampled at a depth of 1800 meters last night. We are currently surveying to deploy the CTD and Multi-core to 2000 meters.

Holding my first extremely large red crap. Alvin snatched it off the floor before its last ascent.

Multi-core completed and ready for deployment. Vacum of the sediment is a major functionality of the multi-cores, not so much the arms that cover the bottom.

After the cores come up, they are stored in the cooler to help preservation. They are then taken to our lab for further evaluation, sampling, and storage.

We slice .5 and 1 cm sections of each core for processing. Who says you can't paid for playing in the mud.

"Built to Spill"

Here is a close up of the CTD.
One of my night jobs

Schedule of work.......besides processing for Tony in the Chem Lab.