Surveys and visitors at the Galapagos Rift
April 26, 2000
By Dr. Dan Fornari
For the last time on this expedition, we have begun
our detective work to find a young volcanic eruption -- this time
at the Galapagos Rift. We arrived here at 0047 hours local time,
or 0647 hours GMT (Greenwich Mean Time) today -- how does that
match your calculation based on the information I gave you yesterday?
The first step in collecting evidence -- our multibeam bathymetry
survey -- took about seven hours. Just after breakfast, we were
at the launch position for the start of the DSL-120 sonar survey.
Calm seas helped the DSL-120 sonar launch this morning go smoothly.
If all goes as planned, in about 2.5 days, we will have a detailed
sonar image of the 4.5 kilometer-wide rift valley where spreading
is separating the Cocos Plate from the Nazca Plate to the south.
Each of our sonar survey lines is about 20 nautical miles, or 37
kilometers, long. It will take us about 12.5 hours to run each
line. Can you calculate what speed we are towing the DSL-120 sonar
fish? (Hint: look at the March 25th Daily Journal for information
on calculating speed if you know the time and the distance.) We
will post the answer in tomorrow’s Daily Journal along with
some images of the sonar data we have collected so far.
This afternoon, we were busy with visitors! Several
pods of short-finned pilot whales came by. They dove and surfaced
around the ship for about 15 minutes before they swam away. Then,
about mid-afternoon, we were buzzed by a small helicopter, like
the ones used by tuna boats to scout for schools of fish. A short
while later, we spotted two fishing vessels coming over the horizon.
One of the ships, the Maru#18, was a Japanese long-liner (a ship
that uses long lines of baited hooks to catch large, open ocean
fish like tuna). They had strung their fishing line out in front
of the RV Melville. Not the best of situations while we were towing
the DSL-120 sonar system! We were able to raise the Maru#18 on
the radio, and they kindly recovered their fishing line before
we crossed over it. It was good to have company, even briefly,
out in the middle of the ocean!
Dan Engelbrecht’s Dynamite
Everyone loved the way Dan Engelbrecht prepared
the fresh Wahoo we had for dinner last night. We have the “Dave’s” to
thank for hauling it in, but Dan tickled our taste buds last night
with his “Parmesan Wahoo” recipe. Here it is for you
all to enjoy.
Grated Parmesan Cheese
Dry White Wine
White or Brown Onions, sliced thinly
Fresh Wahoo (also called “Ono” in Hawaii; the word
that means “very good”)
1) In a bowl, mix equal amounts of cheese and mayonnaise. Add
white wine to thin the mixture into a batter consistency. Add dill
weed (fresh if possible) to taste. Make enough to coat all sides
of the Wahoo generously.
2) Cut the Wahoo into 2 inch thick pieces, removing all skin and
3) Lightly grease a glass or stainless baking dish that is large
enough for all the fish pieces.
4) Take the sliced onions and cover the bottom of the baking dish.
5) Dredge the Wahoo in the batter and place on top of the onions
in the baking dish.
6) Bake at 400°F for 20-25 minutes or until
the top of the fish is golden brown and the fish flakes easily.
7) Serve immediately with wedges of lemon for garnish.
8) Eat and enjoy!