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Cloudy with drizzle
Latitude: 38° 14'N
Longitude: 60° 30'W
Wind Direction: ESE
Wind Speed: 21 Knots
Sea State: 3-4
Sea Temperature: 77°F (25°C)
Swell(s) Height: 7 Foot
Barometric Pressure: 1017.0 MB
Visibility: 6 Nautical Miles
Cream of chicken and rice soup
Ham and cheese sandwiches
Chicken/rosemary ravioli in marinara sauce
Chocolate cream pie
Grilled lamb chops
Broiled halibut filet with remoulade sauce
Basil pesto couscous
Herbed focaccia with roasted garlic
Mixed berry shortcake
June 14, 2003
By Joe Appel
A scientific cruise is propelled by hope,
by looking forward. The scientists who organized Expedition 7
looked forward to it for years: planning, proposing, gathering
colleagues, and so on. They had some general ideas for what they
wanted to accomplish, they were filled with hope, and then they
walked on board. And continued to hope.
Its almost hard to believe, then, that were near the end. Its
not the end of the scientific journey, of course, because all the data weve
compiled in three weeks will go on to new lives in laboratories across the country,
where in many ways the real work of making sense of it all begins. New hopes
will spring up.
But theres no denying the end of this
first phase. Today was the next-to-last Alvin dive. On Sunday,
we steam south to Muir Seamount, where we'll dive a final time
on Monday. Tuesday, we pull into Bermuda. We're close, and you
can tell by the conversations among the scientists: they're
looking back, temporarily, rather than ahead. What did we accomplish?
What have we learned?
The answers are longer and more complicated than can be detailed here. But a
general appraisal of how closely the cruise did what its planners had hoped for
has to be: we did very well.
The primary goal of the cruise, to find a lot of fossil corals at many different
depths in the deep ocean, we met exceedingly well. Earlier in the cruise, when
rough weather canceled dives, hopes flickered. But some epic coral finds filled
out our depth range spectacularly. Those corals' true value will only become
apparent after extensive lab dating can lead us to make some important conclusions
about climate history. So we still need to hope, but perhaps with less jitteriness.
After today's dive led us to some wonderful biological specimens but very few
fossil Desmophyllum cristagalli, Chief Scientist Jess Adkins reminded the group
that not finding coral can be as valuable as finding it. This is in part because
knowing which kinds of environments are not as good for coral will help us make
some general statements about how to look for corals in the future.
With a basket-full of big and beautiful live corals as well, todays dive
made the biologists very happy too. Happiness is the best way to come out of
a fit of hoping. It means we knew what we were doing when we made our plans,
and we had the intelligenceas well as luckto follow through.
And now well have the courage and creativity to use these invaluable experiences
as we go forward. Nothing ever really ends; it just changes direction and keeps
moving. We hope.
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