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Daily Updates: May 2003
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Daily Updates: June 2003
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cloudy with drizzle
Cloudy with drizzle
73°F (22.8°C)
Latitude: 38° 14'N
Longitude: 60° 30'W
Wind Direction: ESE
Wind Speed: 21 Knots
Sea State: 3-4
Sea Temperature: 77°F (25°C)
Swell(s) Height: 7 Foot
Barometric Pressure: 1017.0 MB
Visibility: 6 Nautical Miles

what's to eat

Scrambled eggs
Hash browns
Breakfast-to-go sandwich

Cream of chicken and rice soup
Ham and cheese sandwiches
Chicken/rosemary ravioli in marinara sauce
Brussels sprouts
Potato chips
Salad bar
Chocolate cream pie

Grilled lamb chops
Broiled halibut filet with remoulade sauce
Potatoes O'Brien
Basil pesto couscous
Mixed vegetables
Broccoli flowers
Herbed focaccia with roasted garlic
Salad bar
Mixed berry shortcake

Here’s hoping
June 14, 2003
By Joe Appel

A scientific cruise is propelled by hope, by looking forward. The scientists who organized Expedition 7 looked forward to it for years: planning, proposing, gathering colleagues, and so on. They had some general ideas for what they wanted to accomplish, they were filled with hope, and then they walked on board. And continued to hope.

It’s almost hard to believe, then, that we’re near the end. It’s not the end of the scientific journey, of course, because all the data we’ve compiled in three weeks will go on to new lives in laboratories across the country, where in many ways the real work of making sense of it all begins. New hopes will spring up.

But there’s no denying the end of this first phase. Today was the next-to-last Alvin dive. On Sunday, we steam south to Muir Seamount, where we'll dive a final time on Monday. Tuesday, we pull into Bermuda. We're close, and you can tell by the conversations among the scientists: they're looking back, temporarily, rather than ahead. What did we accomplish? What have we learned?

The answers are longer and more complicated than can be detailed here. But a general appraisal of how closely the cruise did what its planners had hoped for has to be: we did very well.

The primary goal of the cruise, to find a lot of fossil corals at many different depths in the deep ocean, we met exceedingly well. Earlier in the cruise, when rough weather canceled dives, hopes flickered. But some epic coral finds filled out our depth range spectacularly. Those corals' true value will only become apparent after extensive lab dating can lead us to make some important conclusions about climate history. So we still need to hope, but perhaps with less jitteriness.

After today's dive led us to some wonderful biological specimens but very few fossil Desmophyllum cristagalli, Chief Scientist Jess Adkins reminded the group that not finding coral can be as valuable as finding it. This is in part because knowing which kinds of environments are not as good for coral will help us make some general statements about how to look for corals in the future.

With a basket-full of big and beautiful live corals as well, today’s dive made the biologists very happy too. Happiness is the best way to come out of a fit of hoping. It means we knew what we were doing when we made our plans, and we had the intelligence—as well as luck—to follow through.

And now we’ll have the courage and creativity to use these invaluable experiences as we go forward. Nothing ever really ends; it just changes direction and keeps moving. We hope.










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