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Latitude: 27deg 1’ N
Longitude: 111deg 24’ W
Wind Direction: NW
Wind Speed: 15 Knots
Sea State: 3
Swell(s) Height: 2 Feet
Sea Temperature: 67°F (19.5°C)
Barometric Pressure: 1016.6 MB
Visibility: 20 Nautical Miles


what's to eat?

Mushroom and cheddar fritatta
Organic multi-grain cereal
Cheddar cheese frittata
Scrambled eggs
Blueberry pancakes
Raspberry orange drop scones

Cream of tomato soup
Turkey a la king with rice
Cauliflower and Cheddar quiche
Assorted chocolates

Burrito & Taco Bar
Seasoned beef & chicken fajita strips
Black beans
Refried beans
Olives, tomato, onion, lettuce
Green chile
Sour cream
Salsa verde
Black Forest cake

Alvin launch
The A-frame lifts Alvin off the deck. The sub weighs over 16 tons or more than 32,000 pounds so the A-frame has to be very strong.


A Pilot’s View of Tubeworms

Chemical Sensor Pushed into Tubeworms

Bruce initiation

Alvin pilot Bruce Strickrott is initiated after his first dive as a certified pilot.

Daily Update: Dive 3516
January 13, 2000
By Dr. Dan Fornari and Dr. Susan Humphris

At 0745 hours on a beautiful sunny morning, members of Alvin Group pulled Alvin out on to the fantail (rear deck) and checked the electrical and hydraulic systems for the final time. Scientists had worked throughout the night and early morning hours loading and testing the scientific instruments they will use during their dive to the hydrothermal vents. Meanwhile, a pod of pilot whales circled the ship, swimming just below the surface.

At 0815 hours, with scientists Craig Cary and George Luther onboard, pilot Bruce Strickrott guided Alvin down on the first dive of the cruise. For pilot Bruce Strickrott, this dive had added significance. After two years of training, Strickrott had finally become certified as a submersible pilot. This was his first dive without another pilot present. It is a long awaited event, and one that is celebrated in a special way. Keep reading to find out what happened to Bruce!

The first dive marked another special event. While on the seafloor at 2,000 meters, Craig Cary held a teleconference over a satellite link with 11 schools across the country. Carey talked to the students over an underwater telephone that the Alvin pilots call the "Orca phone." Students asked questions about life at sea, how Alvin works, and the science that we are doing. The University of Delaware and the public television station WHYY in Philadelphia and Wilmington arranged the teleconference. It proved to be a fun experience for all involved.

Meanwhile back on Atlantis, scientists prepared the chemicals and equipment that will be needed to process the samples that Alvin brings up. Other scientists worked out in the gym or took naps in preparation for a possible long night of processing and analyzing samples.

Unfortunately the good weather did not last. The winds picked up, gusting to 35 knots. The seas increased to two meters (6 feet). At 1330 hours, the decision was made that Alvin should return to the surface before the weather worsened and made recovery of the submersible too difficult.

By 1500 hours, Alvin was back onboard. The scientists accomplished many of their objectives. They brought back tubeworms, small segmented worms, and some flea-like crustaceans. They determined that the water temperature around where the tubeworms lived was 30°C. They used a chemical sensor to measure hydrogen sulfide and iron concentrations around the vents.

So what happened to Bruce? As he climbed down from Alvin, the other pilots celebrated his first dive by throwing buckets of bright pink, soupy goo all over him. The pilots had cooked this concoction up in the galley. Ingredients included rice, pasta, oatmeal, and red Tang juice! No doubt the real celebration will take place when he gets to port!

Dive Summary
Arrived on Bottom: 0929 hrs
Departed the Bottom: 1330 hrs
Maximum Depth: 2008 m

The dive accomplished several objectives, but there were also some disappointments. The scientists located several vent sites. Some of these areas will provide excellent for conducting chemistry experiments and for sampling hydrothermal sediment, biology, and microbes during the upcoming dives. They also collected several types of worms at one of the vents.

The chemical analyzer mounted on Alvin worked well and successfully measured iron and hydrogen sulfide concentrations in the hydrothermal fluids. Unfortunately, the push cores used to sample the sediment got stuck in their holsters and did not work. Some of the scientists will try to fix them tonight in time for tomorrow's dive. The increase in the wind and waves in the afternoon prevented the pilot and scientists from exploring more areas.

On tomorrow's dive, the scientists plan to search for more vents, collect more samples, and begin experiments at the vents found today.