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partly cloudy weather

Partly Cloudy
78.8°F (26°C)
Latitude: 0 deg 45’S
Longitude: 90 deg 18’W
Wind Direction: S
Wind Speed: 8 Knots
Sea State: 1
Swell(s) Height: 2-4 Foot
Sea Temperature: 80.6°F (27°C)
Barometric Pressure: 1012 MB
Visibility: 10-25 Nautical Miles

what's to eat today?
Spanish Omelet
Blueberry pancakes
Cinnamon rolls
Bacon and sausage
Hash browns and oatmeal
Sliced fruit
Dry cereal

BBQ Pork sandwiches
Chili dogs
Oven-glo potatoes
Spanish soup
Salad bar
Butter cookies

Savory baked chicken
Sweet potatoes
Rice and vegetables
French bread
Salad bar
Pudding and cream

In the steps of the HMS Beagle
April 24, 2000
By Dr. Dan Fornari

Almost 165 years ago, the HMS Beagle sailed up the channel between Isabela and Santa Cruz Islands carrying Charles Darwin to several of the islands in the Galapagos Archipelago. Today, we followed the same track as we left these beautiful islands to head north on the last leg of our expedition. Sailing by the young volcanic landscapes on these islands was like looking through the pages of a textbook on volcanoes! There was plenty of wildlife to watch too. Frigate birds, gulls, and boobies swooped and dived for small bait fish that scattered from the bow of RV Melville. Porpoises were herding tuna in the distance, but the ship was going too fast (over 13 knots) for our trolling lines to attract any fish.

We have been at sea for over a month -- a long time to be away from home, loved-ones, and friends. One of the reasons we stopped in the Galapagos Islands was to let off two members of our science team who had to return to their universities for other pressing research projects. Rachel Haymon and Paul Johnson have been valued members of our expedition and we were sad to see them leave in Santa Cruz. We wish them a safe and speedy return home. For the rest of us, it is back to the open ocean after the change of pace that the few days working in the Galapagos Islands brought us.

Soon we will begin working at the final mid-ocean ridge study site for this expedition -- the Galapagos Rift near 2° 08’N Latitude and 97° 34’W Longitude. There, we will be looking for evidence that a volcanic eruption occurred 18 months ago. Our data from the Autonomous Hydrophone Array indicate that a seismic event occurred then -- now we have to show that it was caused by volcanic activity.

We got a great view of the northwest coast of Santa Cruz Island as we sailed northwest up the Isabela Channel. Small islets, like the one in this picture, are havens for marine life and are some of the best SCUBA diving spots in the Galapagos Islands.

As I write this journal, RV Melville is steaming northwest at 13.5 knots. If we maintain this speed, we will get to our survey area in the early morning hours of Wednesday, 26 April. In the meantime, we are planning our strategy for the DSL-120 sonar and Argo II surveys that we will do in that area. Check in tomorrow for more details on the next survey site and what we plan to do.