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Daily Updates: May 2003
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Daily Updates: June 2003
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partly cloudy
Mostly Cloudy
72°F (22.2°C)
Latitude: 33° 48'N
Longitude: 62° 34'W
Wind Direction: Variable
Wind Speed: 3 Knots
Sea State: 1
Sea Temperature: 73°F (22.8°C)
Swell(s) Height: 4 Foot
Barometric Pressure: 1021.0 MB
Visibility: Unrestricted

what's to eat

Blueberry pancakes with maple syrup
Egg frittata
Pineapple/pecan muffins

Split pea soup with ham
Corn bread
Shells and penne with meatballs and meat sauce
Corn dogs
Chicken wings
Egg salad pita pockets
Pineapple/pecan muffins
Salad bar

Veal Marengo (mushroom, onion, garlic, wine sauce)
Grilled shrimp and scallop piri-piri
Greek grilled cauliflower, fire-roasted red pepper and calamata olive mélange
Fresh broccoli
Garlic whipped mashed potatoes
Herbed linguine
Fresh baked pesto bread
Dutch apple crisp
Salad bar

Kids in a candy store
June 4, 2003
By Joe Appel

On the surface, not much changes here. The water's always very blue, we rarely see another boat, ditto for birds or other wildlife, we don't pass land. No, the drama takes place beneath the surface. And today was dramatic.

Expedition Leader Pat Hickey passed a milestone today, leading scientists on his 501st dive in Alvin. Pat's 15 years' worth of expertise shone through. In five hours, Pat helped fill the sub's collection basket with eight bags of samples, from seven different locations or "stations". In some places, he didn't even really need to stop; he just grabbed stuff and kept going.

And it was good stuff. The bags were filled with Desmophyllum cristagalli fossil corals from a 250-meter range, living corals, urchins and sponges. The divers even saw a two-foot-long 'Dumbo' octopus swim by, so nicknamed because of big flaps around its ears.

The samples will help fill in more of the 'depth range', so that we have a fuller picture of the chemical make-up of the deep ocean. And all signs point to there being loads more corals down there.

This brings up a dilemma, actually. Do we stay on Muir Seamount to try to get corals from other depths? Or do we think about heading back to Manning Seamount, where the Desmophyllum cristagalli we picked up in the first dive shows signs of being older? The decision is complicated by the fact that there's still rough weather up by Manning.

Don't think it's all about the coral, though. As the cruise goes on, we all develop a deeper comfort level with the ship. We've gotten to be friends with it. Evening after dinner finds many of us lazing about on different decks, watching the sun go down amidst splotchy clouds.

Then there's the exciting nighttime energy in the main lab. The music's playing, scientists are busy sorting corals (or sneaking in a quick ping-pong or foosball game).

A few of us stepped outside for a while with a fishing rod, and we hooked our first squid. We put it on ice, where it will stay until we have enough to cook up some calamari for the whole crew. It feels good being part of this natural world we're all so eager to learn more about.


























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