Daily Update: Arriving at the Dive Site
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9 deg 36N
Longitude: 104 deg 15W
Wind Direction: NE
Wind Speed: 16 Knots
Height: 2 Feet
Sea Temperature: 81°F (27.2°C)
Barometric Pressure: 1013.0 MB
Visibility: 15 Nautical Miles
Waffles with berry sauce
Crab and pasta
Beef and pork sandwiches
Corn (2 styles)
Bread pudding with vanilla caramel
January 30, 2000
By Dr. Dan Fornari and Sam Dean
Everyone was excited this morning. Not only is
it Super Bowl Sunday, but Alvin was getting ready to make
its first dive of this cruise! Many of the crew members were
discussing who would win the Super Bowl and they were looking
forward to listening to it on the radio. But launching Alvin is
JOB ONE on Atlantis, and the ship's crew and Alvin Group
had everything ready to go just like clockwork.
Under clear skies, and in front of a full crowd of onlookers, Pilot Bob Waters
and observers Jim Cochran and Dana Yoerger climbed into Alvin at 0815
hours to begin their descent to the ocean bottom. The objective of todays
dive was to collect gravity and magnetics data continuously while Alvin traversed
the volcanic seafloor of the East Pacific Rise crest at an altitude of about
Last night, Margo, Greg, Jenny, and Del had the
night-watch and took turns flying the Towed Camera
Sled to take pictures of the seafloor. Before launching it though,
Dan was having trouble trying to figure out what was wrong with
the camera. It acted like it was working fine, but it would not
let him retrieve the pictures from the cameras hard drive.
Although he didn't much believe in the Y2K bug, he thought he
saw evidence in the file names tagged to each picture that perhaps
the camera didnt like being in the new millenium! Sure
enough, after he tricked the camera's computer
into believing that it was still 1999, the camera worked fine.
Last night the camera team covered about 6 kilometers
along the west side of the ridge axis and took 2046 digital pictures.
The pictures are terrific! Jenny is hoping to analyze these pictures
for her Masters thesis at the University of Hawaii. Check back
tomorrow for a slide show of some great pictures of seafloor
RV Atlantis is not just a research vessel,
it is also an informal classroom. With such a diverse group of
people onboard, everyone is taking turns sharing some of their
great research and field experiences. Today, Dan spent about
an hour in the library with the scientists and crew talking about
his research programs that started over 15 years ago which have
focused on the geology and volcanology of the East Pacific Rise.
In the afternoon, the pool was the place to be. It is VERY hot here in the tropics.
Having the pool filled with saltwater direct from the Pacific Ocean is very refreshing
and a lot of people are taking advantage of it.
On Bottom: 1000 hrs
Off Bottom: 1514 hrs
Maximum Depth: 2545 m
Todays dive accomplished several important objectives. First,
everything worked! The gravimeter that Randy Herr, of NAVOCEANO,
and the Alvin electrical
group installed in Manzanillo worked great, as did the magnetometer.
All of the sensors that Dana brought to help navigate the sub and
the logging program to record all the data also worked flawlessly.
Bob Waters, the pilot, did a great job at driving the survey lines
which were spaced only 150 meters apart. They covered a distance
of over 8 kilometers during the dive. The lines are so well navigated
that it looks like they were drawn on the plotter with a ruler!
Bob also recovered a sample of glassy, curtain folded lava at the
start of the dive. This sample will be sent to Prof. Mike Perfit
at the University of Florida who has been working with Dan on the
geochemistry of the lavas from this area for the past 15 years.
All in all, a great first dive.