Monday, August 24, 2009

Rigging for a flip...

Hey Folks,

My name is Mark and I'll be your guest blogger tonight. Today is Geoff's birthday so he could not be bothered to write a blog.

Unfortunately we are headed to Astoria after only two dives. It's strange to be headed in because we are just getting into the flow of the cruise. So it goes in the world of oceanography. On a more positive note, we've had two dives and gotten useful science from each. Suni went on the first dive and I went on the second. It was my first trip to the bottom of the ocean and it was amazing. I felt like I was in the world's largest tide pool. There were anemonies, sea cucumbers, big fish, and worms everywhere. We visited three hydrothermal vents named Inferno, Hell and Mushroom. We used an underwater mass spectrometer to measure dissolved gasses in fluid flowing from Inferno and Mushroom. At Hell we scooped some worms into a mini-wok and then cooked them with hot water. The biologists tell me that they want to study the thermal tolerance of worms...I think they just want to invent new ways to torture the poor critters. Finally we collected a bunch more specimens for the biologists on the ship.

When I got up from the dive the two Geoffs (Dilly and Wheat) were ready to douse me with six buckets of ice water. Brrr...but worth it!

This unscheduled trip to Astoria is a blow to our plans for the cruise. However, we can be thankful that we have gotten some good results. Geoff got worms from both dives and he is busy torturing/studying them as we speak.

Tomorrow we will wake up in port. However, before we go to bed we need to secure all our equipment. We will be crossing the Columbia River bar which is notorious for rough seas. I used to be a raft guide and since I was not very skillful, I flipped a lot. I quickly learned how to rig for a flip in order to not lose all my gear. My labmates are all very impressed with the rigging of my work bench.

The very best case scenario for this interruption is that we get back to sea in about three days time. That would give us time for 8 more dives. It has yet to be determined how these would be split between the two groups sharing this expedition. We are hoping for at least one more and maybe two. If the repairs drag on then we will probably not get any more dives. We shall see.

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for updates.



The Girguis Group- 8/24/09 on the bow of the Atlantis.

No comments:

Post a Comment