Print pageemail to a friendEmail to friend

Daily Updates: August 2001
      1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30 31  
 Daily Updates: September 2001
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29

View Today's Slideshow!

cloudy weather

70°F (21.1°C)
Latitude: 01 deg 36'S
Longitude: 90 deg 36 ’W
Wind Direction: SSE
Wind Speed: 11 Knots
Sea State 3
Swell(s) Height: 2-4 Foot
Sea Temperature: 68°F (20°C)
Barometric Pressure: 1013.9 MB
Visibility: 12 Nautical Miles

what's to eat today?

Canned fruit
Banana muffins
Eggs and potatoes
Bacon, ham and sausage
French toast
(Dried cereal is always available in the pantry)
OJ in a bucket

Fresh salad
Cabbage rolls
Macaroni, cheese and jalapenós
Chocolate candy

Fresh salad
Baked cod
Steamed vegetables

It’s More Than Just Numbers
September 19, 2001
by Christina Reed

An oceanographic expedition usually accomplishes many objectives. This one has been no exception. In gathering our sonar and submarine lava sample data over the past month, we have counted on the RV Revelle, its crew and the technical personnel on board. They have all done a top-notch job which has been key to our success.

We thought we’d give you an idea of how much it takes to do this kind of research by highlighting some of the major milestones. Since we left Costa Rica on Aug. 23rd we have traveled 4,706 kilometers or 2,541 nautical miles. By the time we get back to Puntarenas on Sept. 24th we will have traveled over 6,200 kilometers, more than 3300 nautical miles.

So far we have used 57,096 gallons of fuel. “We’ve been conserving fuel using only about 2,100 gallons a day on this expedition, normally we use about 3,500 gallons a day” says First Mate Eric Wakeman. We use more fresh water: about 2,500 gallons a day.

In total we have spent nearly 16 days stopped on station dredging or towing the camera, and about 6 days surveying with the MR1 sonar and multibeam sonar systems. The remaining time has been spent transiting from Costa Rica to the Galápagos and between our various survey areas.

The trawl wire has gone up and down like a yo-yo more than 70 times with the dredge attached on the end. The longest length of steel wire we paid out in one dredge was 3,789 meters - about the distance of 38 football fields lined up end to end. The greatest amount of tension we recorded, 19,000 pounds, nearly broke the main pin holding the dredge in place. If it had broken, the safety chain would have brought the dredge back sideways.

We cataloged all the rocks and biology, entered the data into spreadsheets, photographed all the samples, and stored them in buckets. One hundred and twenty 5-gallon buckets and 35 sacks of seafloor lava have been carted off of the fantail and into the shipping container. It will be used to transport more than 6,000 pounds of rocks and 2,000 pounds of equipment back to Woods Hole.

Tonight Todd Ericksen and Steve Totottori put the MR1 sonar fish to bed, tucking it under a tarp. Since we began our work around Genovesa Island on Aug. 26th, we have surveyed 1,500 kilometers of the Galápagos seafloor using the MR1 sidescan and multibeam sonar systems - almost the same distance we will travel on our return to Costa Rica. The total area surveyed with these sonar systems is greater than the area of the State of New Hampshire.

But more than the numbers is the sense that we have all worked hard together to carry out this successful research program. Tonight is the last night of dredging. Tomorrow we head back to Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz Island to drop off our observers, Francisco and Jules, and pay a last visit to the tortoises, sea lions, and iguanas of these “Enchanted Islands.”


[Back to top]