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Daily Updates: May 2000
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View Today's Slideshow!

partlycloudy weather

Partly cloudy
80.6°F (27°C)
Latitude: 3 deg 37’N
Longitude: 102 deg 15’W
Wind Direction: n/a
Wind Speed: 0-1 Knots
Sea State: 0
Swell(s) Height: 4-6 Foot
Sea Temperature: 84.2°F (29°C)
Barometric Pressure: 1011 MB
Visibility: 10-25 Nautical Miles

what's to eat today?
Ham and cheese omelet
Cottage fries and hot cereal
Cinnamon raisin rolls
Bacon and sausage
Eggs to order and pancakes
Tropical fruit
Dry cereal

Salisbury Steak
Mashed potatoes with gravy
Pepper pot soup
Pea pods
Assorted cookies
Salad bar

Roasted pork tenderloins
Fried rice
Chicken wings
Vegetables and fresh baked bread
Salad bar
Neapolitan cream cake

Click here and see if you can find the crab on the pillow lava.

Click here and see a hydrothermal field.





Young lava and hydrothermal activity!
April 13, 2000
By Dr. Dan Fornari

Early this morning, the swells on the sea surface looked like an illusion. The blue Pacific waters were glassy, and you could see the billowy clouds of dawn reflected in the water. But the calm surface rolled with long broad swells, that had probably traveled thousands of miles from the southern ocean where they were created by a storm. The swells caused RV Melville to lazily rise and fall as it slipped from trough to peak to trough. Looking at the peach, blue, and gray colors of the dawn light mix on the ocean water, I remembered why I like being at sea. Just like the experience of breathing pine-scented air in the mountains, or looking across a valley thick with hardwoods and dotted with pastures on a spring morning, being somewhere filled with the essence of nature is wonderful.

Today was a great day! We dredged the youngest lava we’ve seen so far on this expedition from a small volcanic mound that was built over fissures and cracks on the East Pacific Rise. We put Argo II in the water this morning at breakfast time and, as we were towing the vehicle over the same volcanic mound, we observed that the pillow and lobate lavas were, indeed, very glassy and fresh. Then -- great excitement -- an area of hydrothermal activity came into view at the southwestern edge of the mound! Geologists look for associations between different physical features and how they relate over time. A very young volcanic mound with fresh, glassy lava, and hydrothermal activity close by, suggests that a submarine eruption happened recently! The animals at the vent included several different types of anemones, worms, fish, stalked corals or perhaps barnacles, and what we think are sponges, but we are not sure. We are asking our vent biology shore-based colleagues, Dr. Cindy Van Dover of the College of William & Mary, and Dr. Tim Shank of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, to help us identify them. We’ll let you know their answer!

After reading the limericks in yesterday’s Daily Journal, Dan’s Dad contributed this one. Like many of the family members of the crew and science team on RV Melville, Dan’s Mom and Dad are following the progress of the expedition. If you have a limerick to share with us or questions that you would like answered, please send them to us using the Mail Buoy part of the website. Thanks for Diving and Discovering with us!

A WHOI geologist, Dan,
Looked awfully tired and wan.
When told this was so,
He said "Yes, I know,
But I always try to squeeze as much work in the day as I can".