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Cloudy, some rain
Latitude: 33° 49'N
Longitude: 61° 59'W
Wind Direction: SSW
Wind Speed: 25 Knots
Sea State: 4-5
Sea Temperature: 71°F (21.7°C)
Swell(s) Height: 10 Foot
Barometric Pressure: 1013.0 MB
Visibility: 6 Nautical Miles
Pancakes with real maple syrup
Oatmeal Bagels with cream cheese
Kosher hot dogs
Grilled fish cakes
Spaghetti primavera with spinach pesto
Classic chicken a la king, with cranberry sauce
Greek orzo and steamed rice
Homemade Italian bread
Homemade Boston cream pie
Answered prayers (we think)
June 2, 2003
By Joe Appel
The whole big-weather-no-dive thing was getting
a bit old. A week into the cruise, we'd had to put off three
of four Alvin dives due to seas that were too raucous
to launch in.
We had a bouncy night's sleep last night, with winds steadily above 40 knots
and swells around 12 feet. We woke up this morning with weather conditions just
about the same. Something needed to change.
As we pulled into the area around Muir Seamount
at approximately 9:30 a.m., signs weren't good. No one even had
to ask if the captain and expedition leader had cancelled today's
dive. That was a given.
Some scientists had resorted to muttering good-natured prayers to Medusa, the
asp-haired anti-hero of the cruise. Some pored over video footage of the Alvin dive
from days ago. Others did their laundry. A mid-morning ship-emergency drill was
a welcome diversion. Quiet desperation was in the air.
And then, flashes of good news. Some sunshine poked through the clouds. The signs
prohibiting us from walking on the deck were taken down.
Steadily, throughout the day, the weather improved.
So much so that by mid-afternoon, technicians were launching transponders,
which were to aid Alvin when - not if - it dives tomorrow. As
night fell, we sent good ol' ABE into the sea, programming it to return
early the next morning with some new maps the Alvin crew could
bring along. All signs said: Turning point.
You can't quantify a mood, but you can feel the difference
between a good one and a bad one. When a report from the bridge comes
down at 8:30 p.m. saying winds were down to eight knots, and the chief
scientist pumps his fist, you know.
When you can walk down the hallway without getting
slammed into a wall by the rocking of the boat, you know. When a majority
of the crew call it an early night, skipping the chance to watch a late-night
DVD in the lounge because they want to be up early and catch all the
action, you know.
Soon, we'll be back in the saddle. Look out, ocean
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