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Latitude: 33° 47'N
Longitude: 62° 34'W
Wind Direction: SW
Wind Speed: 5 Knots
Sea State: 2
Sea Temperature: 72°F (22.2°C)
Swell(s) Height: 7 Foot
Barometric Pressure: 1017.0 MB
Breakfast drive-by burgers
Bagels with cream cheese
Assorted homemade coffee cake
Red bean soup
Baked stuffed peppers in marinara sauce
Calypso fried fish with tartar sauce
Ice cream bars
Back in the saddle
June 3, 2003
By Joe Appel
After a few days of cancelled dives and crummy
weather, anything Alvin had brought up today would have
been greeted with open arms. But today's dive was a bona fide success.
Chief Scientist Jess Adkins was happy to point out that in a
single day, all three of the Medusa Cruise's goals were met.
Goal #1, of course, is to find and retrieve lots and lots of Desmophyllum
cristagalli corals, from many different depths. What we got today came from
a 200-meter wide zone, but the fact that they were so widespread is a hopeful
sign that other depths we dive to in the future will have them as well.
"Today was amazing," Jess said, "because everywhere
we looked we found Desmophyllum cristagalli. That's important
because we want to gain a sampling of corals from the entire
water column." With results like the ones we got today, we can
let the sciencerather than an irregularly spaced collection
of coralsdrive where we go.
When the final count was completed tonight, more than 400 separate samples of
Desmophyllum cristagalli had been labeled and stored for further research.
But that wasn't all. We also gathered specimens that help us reach other crucial
goals of the expedition. For example, the divers today were able to grab stunning
examples of live Gorgonian corals, as well as brittle stars. This kind of retrieval
helps the scientists learn more about the seamounts' environment generally.
Lastly, today's dive will help with some general principles
of coral-finding. In part by using maps created by ABE, the cruise's
scientists are gradually gaining the ability to see a pattern in where Alvin has
found corals and where it hasn't. This will help us accurately predict
how and where to find fossil corals in the futurenot just along
the New England Seamounts, but anywhere in the world.
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