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sunny weather
85°F (29.4°C)
Latitude: 20 deg 10’S
Longitude: 57 deg 29.8’E
Wind Direction: E
Wind Speed: 8 Knots
Sea Temperature: 83°F (28.3°C)
Barometric Pressure: 1013 MB

what's to eat today?

Daily Update: Setting up and tying down for sea
March 29, 2001
By Amy Nevala

When the sun rises in Port Louis, it gets very hot right away. Before noon today the ship’s thermometer read over 80 degrees. Technicians and crew guzzle gallons of water as they continue to install equipment now covering Knorr’s decks.

On deck and in the labs, equipment is coming together. In the rear of the ship the giant winch holding a 13-ton fiberoptic cable is finally in place. The Deep Submergence Operations Group (DSOG) technicians are stringing long cables through the ship to connect the control van to the computers that the scientists will use to collect and analyze their data.

The techs are also readying ROV Jason, the DSL-120 sonar and Argo II for the survey and sampling work they will begin early next week when we arrive at our first Central Indian Ridge research site.

Most of the scientists have set up their labs and are tying down their equipment so it doesn’t fall off the benches when the ship is at sea. Some have gone ashore to investigate the local museums and shops or explore the island’s unique geology.

Mauritius is part of a volcanic island chain that includes Réunion Island. But unlike Réunion, located southwest of Mauritius, “there are no active volcanoes here,” said Natural History Museum and Mauritius Institute curator Abdool Raman. “All [the volcanoes] went extinct years ago.”

Geologists believe that the last volcanoes erupted on Mauritius about 25,000 years ago.

Evidence of the volcanic activity remains on Mauritius. From the deck of the Knorr, we can see unusual rock formations created as the volcanic rock eroded. Pouce Mountain, for example, looks like a hitchhiker’s thumb (“pouce” means thumb in French).

Tonight scientists and crew are venturing out to shop, grab dinner in town and send postcards. If all goes according to plan, tomorrow evening we will depart for our first research site.

Learn More About...
ROV Jason
Argo II mapping system
DSL-120 sonar


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