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brokenclouds weather
Broken Clouds
80°F (26.7°C)
Latitude: 9 deg 36’N
Longitude: 104 deg 15’W
Wind Direction: NE
Wind Speed: 16 Knots
Sea State: 3
Swell(s) Height: 2 Feet
Sea Temperature: 81°F (27.2°C)
Barometric Pressure: 1013.0 MB
Visibility: 15 Nautical Miles

what's to eat today?
Scrambled eggs
Waffles with berry sauce
Cheese omelet
Fresh fruit

Salad bar
Crab and pasta
Pasta salad
Beef and pork sandwiches

Chicken Adobe
Marinated salmon
Corn (2 styles)
Mashed potato
Salad bar
Bread pudding with vanilla caramel
pat and alvin
Pat Hickey directs the hook-up of the main lift line from the A-frame to Alvin in preparation for Dive 3524.


Volcanic seafloor at the East Pacific Rise crest
Daily Update: Arriving at the Dive Site
January 30, 2000
By Dr. Dan Fornari and Sam Dean

Everyone was excited this morning. Not only is it Super Bowl Sunday, but Alvin was getting ready to make its first dive of this cruise! Many of the crew members were discussing who would win the Super Bowl and they were looking forward to listening to it on the radio. But launching Alvin is JOB ONE on Atlantis, and the ship's crew and Alvin Group had everything ready to go just like clockwork.

Under clear skies, and in front of a full crowd of onlookers, Pilot Bob Waters and observers Jim Cochran and Dana Yoerger climbed into Alvin at 0815 hours to begin their descent to the ocean bottom. The objective of today’s dive was to collect gravity and magnetics data continuously while Alvin traversed the volcanic seafloor of the East Pacific Rise crest at an altitude of about 7 meters.

Last night, Margo, Greg, Jenny, and Del had the night-watch and took turns “flying” the Towed Camera Sled to take pictures of the seafloor. Before launching it though, Dan was having trouble trying to figure out what was wrong with the camera. It acted like it was working fine, but it would not let him retrieve the pictures from the camera’s hard drive. Although he didn't much believe in the Y2K bug, he thought he saw evidence in the file names tagged to each picture that perhaps the camera didn’t like being in the new millenium! Sure enough, after he “tricked” the camera's computer into believing that it was still 1999, the camera worked fine.

Last night the camera team covered about 6 kilometers along the west side of the ridge axis and took 2046 digital pictures. The pictures are terrific! Jenny is hoping to analyze these pictures for her Masters thesis at the University of Hawaii. Check back tomorrow for a slide show of some great pictures of seafloor lava.

RV Atlantis is not just a research vessel, it is also an informal classroom. With such a diverse group of people onboard, everyone is taking turns sharing some of their great research and field experiences. Today, Dan spent about an hour in the library with the scientists and crew talking about his research programs that started over 15 years ago which have focused on the geology and volcanology of the East Pacific Rise.

In the afternoon, the pool was the place to be. It is VERY hot here in the tropics. Having the pool filled with saltwater direct from the Pacific Ocean is very refreshing and a lot of people are taking advantage of it.

Dive Summary
On Bottom: 1000 hrs
Off Bottom: 1514 hrs
Maximum Depth: 2545 m

Today’s dive accomplished several important objectives. First, everything worked! The gravimeter that Randy Herr, of NAVOCEANO, and the Alvin electrical group installed in Manzanillo worked great, as did the magnetometer. All of the sensors that Dana brought to help navigate the sub and the logging program to record all the data also worked flawlessly. Bob Waters, the pilot, did a great job at driving the survey lines which were spaced only 150 meters apart. They covered a distance of over 8 kilometers during the dive. The lines are so well navigated that it looks like they were drawn on the plotter with a ruler! Bob also recovered a sample of glassy, curtain folded lava at the start of the dive. This sample will be sent to Prof. Mike Perfit at the University of Florida who has been working with Dan on the geochemistry of the lavas from this area for the past 15 years. All in all, a great first dive.