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60°F 15.6°C
Wind Direction: none
Wind Speed: none
Sea State: 0
Swell(s) Height: 0 feet
Sea Temperature: 55°F 12.8°C
Barometric Pressure: 1014.0 MB
Visibility: 12 nautical miles

what's to eat

Scrambled Eggs
Denver omelet
Fruit Juices

Manhattan clam chowder
Homemade meatloaf sandwich
Spinach and cheese quiche
Seafood salad
Frozen Snickers Bars

Baked chicken
London broil
Grilled tofu
Mashed potato
Baby string beans almondine
Salad bar with homemade cornbread
Chocolate mousse pie
Coconut cream pie

Daily Update: Leaving Port
January 12, 2000

Atlantis left Guaymas, Mexico, at 0900 hrs (Mountain Time) as scheduled on a bright sunny day. All 24 scientists, 9 Alvin technicians, and 23 Atlantis crewmembers are onboard and have set up and stowed their equipment. As we sail out of the harbor, ringed by the rugged coast mountains, pelicans swoop around the ship looking for small fish disturbed by the ship's wake. A pilot came on board to safely guide us out of the harbor. He then left on a small boat that pulled alongside the ship before we headed out for sea.

Safety First
Safety is the first priority on board any ship. This afternoon, Captain George Silva, Chief Engineer Kevin Fisk, and Expedition Leader Pat Hickey held a meeting to welcome the scientists on board. They explained how to work safely in all parts of the ship and about the ship schedules, including meal times and Alvin dives.

We had our first fire and boat drill, which is required by law. We were given instructions on where to go in an emergency, how to abandon ship, what to do in case of a fire, and how to put on survival suits. These suits are also known as "Gumby suits" because they make us look like the cartoon character of the same name.

Orientation for Divers
Alvin has never had a serious accident in its 30-year history. Still the pilots take the scientists into the sub and teach them about safety, emergency procedures, and how to operate the science equipment. They tell the scientists how to use the underwater telephone to call the ship in an emergency, how to use the emergency breathing masks, and how to release different pieces of equipment to free the sub if it gets stuck. Because the inside of Alvin is so small (a six-foot sphere), the pilots try to observe whether each scientist might become claustrophobic during a dive. Alvin pilots are used to "going to the office" on the bottom of the ocean for about eight hours a day. But scientists who usually spend their days in the laboratory may have difficulty adjusting to the cramped conditions over such a long period of time.

Preparations for the First Dive!
It took us only five hours to sail from Guaymas west to the dive site. At 1430 hrs, we arrived at the dive site at a position of 27° 01'N latitude and 111° 25'W longitude. There we dropped three acoustic transponders, the beeper devices that Alvin uses to navigate, onto the seafloor. There are of course no signposts on the seafloor, so Alvin uses the transponders to find its way around. Alvin determines its position relative to the three transponders by listening to their beeps. This process is called triangulation.

The first science meeting was held in the Library at 1900 hrs. Craig Cary, the chief scientist, explained the objectives of the cruise. The scientists then spoke about their backgrounds and what they will be doing during the cruise.

Everyone is getting their sea legs. They are getting used to standing and working on a rolling ship, although the sea is calm so far. Everyone is feeling fine and is looking forward to getting to work and to the first Alvin dive tomorrow, Jan. 13. The scientists are readying their laboratory equipment and are working with the Alvin pilots and crew to get their sensors and samplers operating on Alvin . The Alvin pilots and technicians are preparing the submersible and all of its equipment for Dive 3516. Pilot Bruce Strickrott will take scientists Craig Cary and George Luther to the bottom of the Sea of Cortez and to the hydrothermal vents in Guaymas Basin.