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sunny weather
68°F (20°C)
Latitude: 27deg 0’ N
Longitude: 111deg 24’ W
Wind Direction: WNW
Wind Speed: 12 Knots
Sea State: 1
Swell(s) Height: 2 Feet
Sea Temperature: 64°F (17.8°C)
Barometric Pressure: 1014.8 MB
Visibility: 20 Nautical Miles

what's to eat today?
Scrambled eggs
Fresh fruit

Vegetable bean soup
Kielbasa sausage and sauerkraut roll
Turkey noodle casserole
Cheese quiche
Salad bar
Three Musketeers frozen bars

Baked sea scallops
Chicken Marsala
Saffron rice
Creamed spinach
Yellow squash with snow peas
Cornflour bread
Salad bar
Chocolate mousse with whipped cream

preparing to dive
Pilot in Training Phil Forte prepares to enter Alvin while Steve Faluotico, the Launch Coordinator for the dive checks the A-frame.

Phil Taylor climbs down the rope ladder from Atlantis to board the “Rambler” to return to Guaymas.

Daily Update: Dive 3521
January 18, 2000
By Dr. Dan Fornari and Dr. Susan Humphris

It was another balmy day on the Sea of Cortez. Alvin Dive 3521 was launched at 0805 hrs. Pilot-in-Training Phil Forte was at the controls. Expedition Leader Pat Hickey went along to help Phil with his training. Phil, a mechanical engineer by training, has been a member of the Alvin Group for about a year. He hopes to complete his pilot training this year. Scientist George Luther also went along. His highest priority was collecting sediment cores.

While Alvin was diving, we had a visit from the Rambler, a 38-foot fishing boat captained by Mr. Rusty Price of Guaymas, Mexico, and Seattle, Wash.

He had kindly agreed to pick up Dr. Phil Taylor who needed to get back to his office at the National Science Foundation. Mr. Price and the crew from the fishing boat toured the ship for an hour and talked with the scientists, crew, and Captain Silva. Before heading back to Guaymas, they gave us about 20 pounds of yellow tail they had caught the day before. Carl Wood, the steward, will prepare it for dinner in the next few days.

This afternoon, we (Susan and Dan) and Craig Cary finally succeeded in recording whale sounds. With Ken Rand, a member of the ship's crew, piloting the Avon, we motored about two miles west of the ship towards the shore. There we came upon a pod of pilot whales and a school of dolphins. We lowered the hydrophone into the water and recorded the whistles made by the pilot whales. Meanwhile, Ken recounted some experiences he had had last year while sailing single-handedly across the North Atlantic from Halifax, Nova Scotia, to Gibraltar. One night he woke up to the sound of blowing. Several sperm whales had surrounded him.

Tim Rozan, Liz McCliment, and Brian Glazer have been trying to figure the best way to collect sediment cores so that they can make the chemical measurements they need. Prior to today's dive, they looked at videos of previous dives and talked with the Alvin pilots about how best to collect cores without stirring up the the layers of mud in the cores. As is the case with a lot of science, careful planning and good communication paid off. George, Phil, and Pat collected some of the best cores of the cruise. Armed with electrodes, the scientists are now poking and prodding the cores, trying to reveal the cores’ chemistry.

Dive Summary
On Bottom: 0915 hrs
Off Bottom: 1534 hrs
Maximum Depth: 2007 meters

The main objectives of today’s dive were to collect additional sediment cores and bring up more tubeworms for genetic and biological analyses. Phil Forte, the pilot-in-training, and observers Pat Hickey and George Luther collected five core and “Sipper” samples from three of the vent sites that had been explored several times previously. They also made chemical scanner profiles of hot vents and lower-temperature diffuse flows. Finally, they brought back about a dozen tubeworms; some of which were almost two meters (about six feet) long. The biologists are now in the lab dissecting the tubeworms and processing the tubeworm tissues. See yesterday's (Jan. 17) daily report for details on what the biologists are doing with the tubeworms.