Daily Updates: May 2002
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View Today's Slideshow!

partlycloudy weather

Partly Cloudy
80.9°F (27.3°C)
Latitude: 0 deg 45.2'N
Longitude: 91 deg 17.5’W
Wind Direction: SE
Wind Speed: 10 Knots
Sea State 1
Swell(s) Height: 1-3 Foot
Sea Temperature: 77°F (25°C)
Barometric Pressure: 1013.1 MB
Visibility: 10 Nautical Miles

what's to eat today?

Canadian Bacon
Scrambled Eggs
Coffee Cake

Tomato Soup
Hot Dogs
Macaroni and Cheese
Ice Cream Bars

Post-Cruise Dinner Party at the Garrapata (the “Tick”) Restaurant in Pt. Ayora - Santa Cruz Island





Hasta luego.
June 4, 2002
by Lonny Lippsett

Most research cruises last a month or more. This one lasted only 12 days, but we certainly crammed a lot of exploring, diving and discovering into that time—two new hydrothermal vent sites, maps of a previously unexplored section of the Galápagos Rift, and hundreds of samples of marine life that scientists will be studying for years to come.

At the vents, we found mussels, clams and tubeworms, both young and mature. We found copepods (the “sand fleas” of the sea), amphipods (related to shrimp, but only a few millimeters long), larger shrimp, sea spiders, polychaete worms, and transparent limpets. We also sampled other deep-sea life—urchins, sea pens, sea fans, anemones, and corals. Many may be unknown species.

There are discoveries to be made in the microbial world. “I found a zoo of animals that I’ve never seen before,” said microbiologist Anna-Louise Reysenbach. Jonathan Eisen and Naomi Ward of The Institute for Genomic Research also leave Atlantis with a treasure chest of animals and microbes, whose DNA they will analyze. With these analyses, scientists can learn how these animals evolved. They can compare how animals at one site might be related to each other, or how shallow-water and deep-sea anemones are related.

But all that work remains for the future. After our last dive ended yesterday evening, we’ve all had to scurry to crunch data, make last-minute maps, and pack scientific gear in anticipation of leaving the ship today. (Some of us had to thaw our clothes, which otherwise would be hard to pack. See today’s slideshow.)

Dan Scheirer is rushing home for his wife’s graduation Friday from the MIT-WHOI Joint Program in Oceanography. Dan Fornari, who has been at sea for several weeks, has his son’s high school graduation on Saturday. This reporter, who was at the bottom of the sea yesterday, will be atop a Manhattan penthouse on Saturday to celebrate two dear friends’ 50th wedding anniversary. Tim Shank will return to see his new daughter, who is 37 days old today. We all hope there are no hitches in our flights off the island of Baltra and from Quito, Ecuador, to the US.

Atlantis sails tomorrow on its way to do more research. We hope one day it will return to explore the vent sites we discovered on this trip, and to find other sites—perhaps even a black-smoker chimney—on the Galápagos Rift.

Thanks for Diving and Discovering with us.





















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