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Daily Updates: August 2001
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rainy weather

Overcast, drizzle
72°F (22.2°C)
Latitude: 00 deg 45’S
Longitude: 90 deg 18’W
Wind Direction: S
Wind Speed: 10 Knots
Sea State 5
Swell(s) Height: 2-4 Foot
Sea Temperature: 70°F (21.1°C)
Barometric Pressure: 1015.1 MB
Visibility: 5 Nautical Miles

what's to eat today?

Fresh fruits
Blueberry muffins
Eggs and potatoes
Bacon, ham and sausage
Cream of Wheat
OJ in a bucket

Fresh salad
Turkey subs
Tuna subs
Potato chips
Cream of mushroom soup

Dinner in Puerto Ayora at a restaurant in Spanish called Garripata, or the "Tick."

Arriving in the Galápagos
August 26, 2001
by Christina Reed

Last night we drove in circles, chasing the tail of the MR1 sonar fish in order to calibrate its compass. By slowly making two circles in opposite directions and monitoring the Revelle's gyro compass in comparison to the internal compass on the MR1 we were able to make sure the sonar was properly recording data.

We also towed the MR1 sonar over a flat area of seafloor north of Genovesa Island. This will allow us to have a baseline that we can refer to when processing the MR1 data to make bathymetric maps. All of this preliminary testing work is important so that the bathymetry and side-scan sonar maps we make will be as accurate as possible.

But not all of the seafloor in this area is smooth. Northeast of Genovesa there is a mysterious ridge that we mapped with the multibeam sonar and MR1. As the data appeared on the computer screens, we saw that more than 10 underwater volcanic cones dot the crest of this nearly 40 kilometer-long ridge.

Karen Harpp was cautiously optimistic. “It is definitely a complex volcanic structure,” she says. “Some of the cones align along the crest of the ridge which suggests that they may be the result of regional stresses.” If the cones are young they may have an origin similar to Genovesa. She's hoping that we can do more mapping around this island and perhaps dredge up rocks from the submarine ridge.

After breakfast, our test lowering of the MR1 sonar was completed and we recovered the sonar fish. As it was hauled in, it surfed along behind the ship while we watched the coastline of Santa Cruz Island appear out of the fog.

Captain Chris Curl has made arrangements with the harbormaster for us to come ashore at Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz. A small boat, called a panga, will come out to where we are anchored and pick us up. Puerto Ayora is the most populated city in the Galápagos and each store and restaurant is named after an animal found around or on the islands. Everyone is looking forward to seeing giant tortoises, visiting the Charles Darwin Research Station, or going snorkeling. Tonight the science party will meet up with the rest of our team joining us here in the Galápagos. We plan to eat dinner at the Garripata, the Spanish word for “Tick.”

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