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rainy weather
58°F (14.4°C)
Latitude: 47° 56'N
Longitude: 129° 05'W
Wind Direction: SE
Wind Speed: 33 Knots
Sea State: 6
Swell(s) Height: 10 Foot
Sea Temperature: 55°F (12.8°C)
Barometric Pressure: 1010.2 MB
Visibility: 4 Nautical Miles

what's to eat

Sausage patties
Scrambled eggs
Home fries
Egg and cheese sandwich
Raspberry orange muffins

Tomato rice soup
Portobello mushroom burgers
Onion rings
Salad bar
Ice cream bars

Fried catfish
Baked potatoes spears
Pork Vindaloo
Salad bar
Pumpkin pie and ice cream


“Attention All Hands: Today’s Dive has been Canceled”
June 5, 2004
By Amy Nevala

On Atlantis, some people believe that if the cooks prepare pea soup, the weather will turn foul. Two days ago we ate peas with our lunchtime soup, and now blue springtime skies have turned gray, rain soaks the decks, and a cold wind blows at 35 knots (40 miles per hour).

Expedition Leader Pat Hickey felt the 274-foot (83-meter) ship start to pitch in the middle of the night. At 5:50 a.m. winds were at 25 knots (29 miles per hour). Two hours later, they had increased another 10 knots (12 miles per hour), with no sign of abating.

Pat canceled the dive as a safety precaution for the sub—and more importantly, to protect the swimmers needed for Alvin’s deployment and recovery. “We’ve launched in this kind of weather before, because once you’re below the surface it’s not rough,” Pat said. “But all I’m seeing from the weather report is that the storm is continuing to build, so it’s not worth any risk.”

University of Washington Graduate Student Deb Glickson felt disappointed when she heard the news while sipping morning tea in the galley. She was looking forward to a final dive to the Mothra hydrothermal vent field before we steam to the Nootka transform fault . She and her advisor, Chief Scientist Deb Kelley, had planned to explore an area that once hosted seafloor lava lakes. They are interested in learning how the lakes form, their relationship to hydrothermal vents, the source of the lava, and where the lava may have drained.

But instead of climbing into Alvin, Deb grabbed a handful of crackers, positioned her seasickness prevention patch behind her left ear, and headed back to bed. “It’s frustrating,” Deb said later of the canceled dive. “There is no telling when I’ll have a chance to get back to this area. It will likely be a very long time.”

The weather at Nootka looks even worse than at the Endeavour Segment, with rain and wind gusting 45 knots (52 miles per hour), so Deb Kelley decided that we should ride out the day in our present location before moving there tonight. In labs, measuring liquids and using delicate equipment proved difficult, and scientists stood wide-legged and braced against tables to avoid stumbling. For many it was a day to catch up—on sleep, reading, Alvin dive reports, and research notes.

The crew spent the morning recovering two transponders that Alvin divers had placed on the seafloor when we arrived at the Endeavour Segment. The transponders emit an audible ping to help divers return to a precise location on the sea floor. Pat staggered their release from the seafloor so they floated to the surface 45-minutes apart. Bosun Wayne Bailey said Atlantis crew has recovered ocean instruments in even rougher seas, but today’s seas provided a challenge.

“It’s like a carnival game,” Wayne said. “You have to be quite skilled and a little lucky, because you have a lot working against you.” He supervised three crewmembers trying to hook the bobbing yellow transponder—a sphere about twice the size of a basketball—with a 20-foot (3-meter) pole from the rail of the ship.

Third Mate Adam Seamans positioned the ship so that the bow took the swells, reducing rolling of the ship. Still, waves as tall as 15 feet (4.5 meters) slapped the starboard side, making all on board stumble as we walked.

Alvin pilot Bruce Strickrott, who at breakfast had pondered if pea soup made for rough seas, said there is no magic remedy to get our pleasant weather back. In fact, he said there is only one way to see if the foul weather will change.