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partlycloudy weather
Partly Cloudy
58°F (14.4°C)
Latitude: 47° 55'N
Longitude: 129° 06'W
Wind Direction: W
Wind Speed: 10 Knots
Sea State: 2
Swell(s) Height: 8 Foot
Sea Temperature: 55°F (12.8°C)
Barometric Pressure: 1019.0 MB
Visibility: 15+ Nautical Miles

what's to eat

Scrambled eggs
French toast
Sausage patty
Hash browns
Fresh fruit

Boca burgers
Beef barley soup
Ham sandwiches
French fries
Rice and peas
Salad bar
Ice cream bars

Roasted breast of turkey and gravy
Blackened tuna steaks with fresh tomato salsa
Mashed spuds
Snow peas and mushrooms
White rolls
Apple pie with vanilla ice cream

Clean Up at “Easter Island”
June 2, 2004
By Amy Nevala

The growing crowd of defunct scientific equipment, old markers, and discolored lines left behind by researchers on the seafloor worried Chief Scientist Deb Kelley of the University of Washington, who wants to see an undersea research site she has worked at for more than 20 years kept clean.

During our expedition, she decided to do something about the items accumulated at the Main Endeavour hydrothermal vent field, particularly in the last four years as interest in the site has escalated among oceanographers worldwide. Using Alvin, she dedicated three dives, funded by the National Science Foundation, to placing navigational markers and tidying up research areas.

“None of it is intentionally left behind,” Deb said of the assortment of rope and twisted metal, plastic, wood markers, and other objects collected Monday on the first clean up dive at a vent site called Easter Island. “Sometimes scientists have so much to do, so many objectives, that things get left behind. Or they intend to go back and pick something up, but weather comes in, or something breaks, and they can’t do it.”

In the main lab of Atlantis, an orange bucket held many of the recovered items, most of them tangled in yellow polypropylene lines streaked with black sulfide deposits. Some appeared to be remnants of old or broken science experiments. A blackened red flag had a 3 written on it. Another marker, a rectangular box about the size of a deck of cards, was marked “N” and “Habla Español.”

Divers in Alvin also recovered an instrument called a current meter, containing a year of data that Deb said had been lost last year. The instrument holds information relating to transport of larvae, needed as part of a collaborative project between the University of Washington and the University of Victoria.

As one of the most active hydrothermal vent regions, with a variety of microorganisms and macro fauna, including tubeworms, crabs, and fish, the Endeavour Segment draws scientists from around the globe. Deb estimates that this year about four scientific expeditions from the US, Canada and other countries will visit this undersea volcano, part of a Marine Protected Area in Canada.

The clean up provided a challenge for Alvin Pilot Pat Hickey. He had to fly between huge undersea structures, some 150 feet (45 meters) across, then manipulate Alvin’s mechanical arms among bowling ball-sized rocks to pluck items from the bottom and place them in the collection basket on the front of the sub.

Subsequent dives will include recovery of five navigational transponders placed from 1997 to 2000, as well as assorted scientific debris from a site called Smoke and Mirrors.

“This feels good,” Deb said after the first clean up dive. “It feels like the right thing to do.”