Daily Update: Dive 3525
January 31, 2000
By Dr. Dan Fornari
The wind died down a bit last night and the morning
dawned with a slight overcast. The towed camera sled was hoisted
onboard at 0630 hours after another successful tow. In the meantime,
the Alvin crew was getting the sub ready for the second
dive. Bruce Strickrott, Hans Schouten and Dana Yoerger were going
to pick up where the last dive left off and continue running
East - West survey lines spaced only 150 meters apart across
the East Pacific Rise crest.
Activities on board included serious chipping and painting to get rid of rusty
spots on the ships decks and equipment. Rust is the enemy of everyone
who makes a living on the ocean. Salt water loves to eat metal,
so the job of maintaining a steel-hulled ship on the ocean is never ending. Good
preventive maintenance always pays off. Having the crew chip and grind away rust,
prime the steel and then paint it will keep Atlantis in good shape
for many years to come.
The ping pong matches have started in earnest. We
are still only into the first few rounds but folks are lining up
to play practice matches and the daily bouts between Captain Silva
and Marcel Viera are always fun to watch and listen to.
Margo, Greg, Jenny and Del have officially turned into night-owls! They finally
went to bed around 0700 after the camera was washed off, and woke up just after
lunch to start preparing the Sled for tonights traverse of the seafloor.
They are archiving and backing-up the digital photographs and as they do that
they keep ooing and ahhing about how great the pictures look and the interesting
lava features they are seeing. Its great to see students excited about
their research, and Margo, who is Greg and Jennys advisor, is very pleased
about how well they are doing in collecting these data so far.
The pool was the place to be this afternoon. The wind died down
even more and the sun was very strong so quite a few people cooled off and
relaxed in the salt water.
During the recovery of Alvin this afternoon,
Danielle Fino was able to go out in the Avon to film and take pictures of the
operations. She took some great video that you can see in the movie clips.
She loved the experience and didnt get too wet!
The normal post-dive meeting on the fantail to greet the pilot and observers
was special today because it was Hans first Alvin dive. Pat Hickey
did the honors and hosed him down as he stepped across the fantail.
On Bottom: 0943 hours
Off Bottom: 1420 hours
Maximum Depth: 2541 meters
Todays dive started out with some minor technical problems with the gravimeter
that got resolved after a few discussions on the UQC - the underwater telephone
that Alvin uses to communicate with the Top Lab. After only a short delay,
and realizing that a switch had mistakenly been turned the wrong way, Alvin started
running the survey lines. They drove over 7 kilometers and the data again look
very good. They also collected another lava sample, this time a glassy piece
of a lobate flow, at the beginning of the dive. After the sub was secured in
the hanger, the Alvin crew made some minor changes to the basket so that
when they dive tomorrow to the hydrothermal vents at 9° 50N they wont
damage any of the acoustic and magnetic sensors while they are working around
the hot, black smoker chimneys.