| Daily Updates: May 2002
| Daily Updates: June 2002
Latitude: 0 deg 48.6'N
Longitude: 89 deg 32.4W
Wind Direction: SE
Wind Speed: 13 Knots
Sea State 3
Swell(s) Height: 1-3 Foot
Sea Temperature: 75°F (23.9°C)
Barometric Pressure: 1013.0 MB
Visibility: 12+ Nautical Miles
Banana Walnut Bread
Red Beans, Rice and Andouille Sausage
Beef 'n Cheese 'n Beans Burritos
Shrimp Creole with Steamed Rice
Spinach and Monterey Jack Quiche
Chips 'n Salsa
Ice Cream Bars
Baked Pork Chops
Potatoes au gratin
Hustle, bustle and mussels
May 31, 2002
by Lonny Lippsett
So ABE and the CTD sniffed through the night for any
sign of hydrothermal vents. Together the two instruments covered
10 miles of this unexplored region of the Galápagos Rift.
When the sun came up, the news was bad. ABE had found nary a
wisp of warm waters. Bob Collier, who had guided the CTD through
the night, just shook his head.
the search today. It dived between two halves of a seafloor volcano
on the ridge axis. The volcano had once lay atop the ridge, but
it has since been split in two, as the seafloor continued to
spread apart on both sides of the ridge.
Waiting is hard. Waiting and hoping is even harder.
The day passed slowly and the tension slowly mounted. By 3 p.m.,
the scientists moved with a little less enthusiasm and slumped
a little more in their chairs as they gathered to figure out what
to do next. If this spot seemed to have no signs of hydrothermal
activity, it might be time to move on and search somewhere else.
The scientists looked at their maps, studying seafloor features
that might point the way to hydrothermal vents. They debated whether
one place or another might be more likely. The mood was about as
buoyant as Alvin descending to the bottom.
Then the phone rang: Tim Shank to the Top Lab. The Top Lab
is where a non-flying Alvin Pilot tracks the submersible and
maintains contact with it. Tim jumped up, fingers crossed. When he
came back down a few minutes later, he announced. They found mussels.
Mussels live around hydrothermal vents. Unless the mussels are in marinara
sauce, they have found a vent, said Dan Fornari.
True, but hold onthe vent might no longer be active. The meeting ended
instantly, as scientists rushed up to the Top Lab. Alvin Pilot Bruce
Strickrott, who had spent much of the day alone in the Top Lab monitoring Alvin, was
suddenly surrounded. You say one wordmussels, he joked, and
whoa, look what happens!
At 3:30 p.m., Susan Humphris reported from the ball, Alvins sphere: Weve
found pockets of mussel shellsdead mussel shells. Were trying to
determine if anything is alive, but it appears to be a dead site. Alvin was
scheduled to surface at 4 p.m., but Pilot Anthony Tarantino reported
that Alvins batteries
still had some juice. The decision was made to keep Alvin hunting
for another hour. The crew found another pocket of mussels, but it, too,
With only three Alvin dives left,
Id really like to find an
active site, Tim said.
Tomorrow is June 1. There is a custom that if your first waking words on
the first day of the month are Rabbit, Rabbit, youll have good
Because this is Tims first cruise as Co-Chief Scientist, colleaguesfor
a jokehad given him a stuffed version of the killer rabbit in the movie Monty
Python and the Holy Grail. Maybe Ill sleep with it tonight, Tim
Bob Collier wont be sleeping. He will guide the CTD throughout the
night across several miles of the rift valley, searching for signs of active
hydrothermal venting. The mussel shells found today indicate that at some
point, there was active venting in this area. Is there still?
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