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partlycloudy weather

Partly cloudy
82.4°F (28°C)
Latitude: 3 deg 23’N
Longitude: 102 deg 12’W
Wind Direction: calm
Sea State 1
Swell(s) Height: 3-5 Foot
Sea Temperature: 84.2°F (29°C)
Barometric Pressure: 1012 MB
Visibility: 10-25 Nautical Miles

what's to eat today?

Cheese Omelet
Cottage fries and oatmeal
Banana pancakes
Coffee cake
Bacon and sausage

Roasted leg of lamb
Tuna casserole
Tomato soup
Sushi and Sashimi
Tuna and California rolls
Salad Bar

Lasagna (meat and vegetarian)
Cheese pizza
Zucchini and onion sauté
Salad bar
Peach cobbler
Homemade cinnamon and walnut ice cream

Argo II shows us the seafloor
April 4, 2000
By Dr. Dan Fornari and Julia Getsiv

It was a long and tiring night on board RV Melville as we dredged for seafloor lava through the night and into the morning hours. It was somewhat disappointing too, because one of the areas where we hoped to find young lava turned out to be mostly sediment covered with only very small shards of lava. We dredged along three lines (called stations), and only on the third one did we get several good-sized pillow basalts, some with glassy crusts, but they were still not as young as we had hoped. At the same time, the Deep Submergence team was preparing the Argo II mapping and imaging system. Once the rock dredge was back on board, we sent Argo II over the side and down to the seafloor to take video and digital pictures of the bottom. By about 1600 hours local time, Argo II was hovering only 10 meters above the seafloor showing us the pillow lava terrain on the East Pacific Rise crest at 3100 meters depth near 3° 22’N latitude. Our plan is to tow Argo II north along the ridge axis and then south across some interesting areas in the basin between the two ridge crests that we talked about yesterday. Based on the DSL-120 sonar images, we have a few sites where we think there may be new lava. However, we need to actually “see” the different seafloor features to be sure that we are interpreting the DSL-120 data correctly. So, we are now “flying” Argo II over the seafloor and “seeing” a part of the Earth that has never been seen by humans before! We are sitting in the Control Van and watching the pillow lava and occasional deep sea creatures float by on the television screens -- very exciting!

It is almost two weeks into our cruise, and already there is a comfortable familiarity between scientists and crew. Some faces we knew from the start, especially for the old sea salts (the name given to people who go to sea often), others were a mystery. Conversations at meal times began with, “So what do you do?”, and progressed to other, more in-depth inquiries of each other’s lives. Watchmates become buddies - we see each other so often - and real friendships begin to grow.

Life at sea is different from life on land in many ways. Not only do we work together, we also eat together, workout together, and relax together. We have roommates, watchmates, and coworkers. There aren’t many places on a boat to escape and be alone, and we don’t get to go home to friends and family at the end of the day. Some days, the intense work schedule, or just missing loved ones, can cause stress, and we all learn to deal with each other’s mood swings. A sense of humor is especially helpful at times like these.

Ultimately, we are all out here to accomplish the same goals and only when we work together can we achieve them. It’s crucial that each one of us does our tasks well and efficiently. Just one person slacking off can affect the whole group. This group effort, however, translates into strong camaraderie and a sense of being important to the scientific program. A successful cruise for one is a successful cruise for all.