Monday, September 7, 2009

long,strange journey...

Well we are back in Seattle. I am currently on a really comfy bed (all comfort is relative) and really fast internet (likewise with speed). It has been a long, strange journey. At times it felt like forever. At the end, it sometimes felt like we were just getting started. I guess with split dives, a midcruise port stop, multiple transits and system checks, rechecks, failures, rebuilds, and very very little sleep it all blurred a little.

A summary of the last few days: Kiana had a dive, and then we had one more halfday dive at a new site called Zonabare. This is also called a bounce dive, because you just "bounce" off the bottom. We collected some mud core samples, and each lab group got a couple to check out later. We were pretty busy, so we just threw them in the cold room and we'll deal with them later. I finished my experiments that night, with worm number 898. I started on 555 this cruse so that's well over 300 for the trip. Not bad i'd say for 4 dives and multitudes of crazy out there.

After I finished up, we started packing like mad and got into port yesterday morning. The seas were really rough crossing the Columbia River Bar and things were flying around at about 5:30am yesterday. I was braced in the bed just to stay in, and the fog horn blared for a good half hour. It was pretty misearble, but after that we got more calm seas and got into port around 10am. We left with 6 pallets of equipment, and this time we had 7 pallets. It was an impressive operation- In about 16 hours we packed a few thousand pounds of equipment (a bit unorganized to be sure) and got it stored in a warehouse in Oregon.

Then it was time for fun! We went to the Wet Dog cafe for dinner and much deserved beer, and then on to the local bar called the Portway where we had an open bar paid for by the chief scientists and karaoke. Kiana did her dancing, and the rest of us did pretty bad renditions of Rolling Stones, Britney Spears, Bon Jovi, etc. I closed the evening with Bohemian Rhapsody, which went over really well with the group.

Today, we packed the samples in dry ice and drove rental cars up to Seattle, and we settled into a nice little hotel (thanks Jeannette!!) called the Deca. Our plan is to meet the UW staff tomorrow to get our samples packed cold tomorrow morning and then go see a little Seattle before heading to California for vacation. Horray!

This is Geoff signing off for AT 15-51. Talk to you all next cruise.

Scientists enjoying their first shore meal in a couple weeks.

Kiana, looking stylish with the flower and the microbrew.

Suni and Mark at the Portway in Astoria, Oregon.

An angry beach ball.

The Girguis Atlantis 15-51 Crew. Juan de Fuca 2009. Signing off.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Well, well, well....head

Hi folks! I'm going to turn the blog over to Kiana, our guest blogger for the day. She just went down in the sub, and I want you to read it from her fingers directly. Cheers!

Holla at you blog readers from a boat. Now my dive adventures on the atlantis have been quite a rollercoaster adventure, if you don't mind me saying... "you're diving, nope you're not diving, wake up change to cotton you're diving, nope the mass spec is working your not diving"...but alas Beth! Orcutt, bless her red headded blue eyed awesomeness, bequeathed her well head dive to me. Some may say that they gave me the dive just because they wanted to have some fun and be devious with me when i got back to the surface, and well some may just have been correct about that.

While i wish i could explain the magestry of my adventure through the deep blue with words...i just don't feel like it would give you the full picture of the extreme AWESOMENESS... So if you will allow me i shall begin my INTERPRETIVE DANCE....

***shimmy shimmy, body roll, side roll, laser light show, alien creature imitation, alvin arm valve turns, shimmy shimmy, dance party.........SPLASH, SPLASH, shake-a shake-a freezing****

Got it =) my flowers have seen the ocean floor and have gained the wisdom of the ocean. oh and i saw aliens...true story. Needless to say i was like a little kid in a candy shop, it was the most incredible experience of my life followed by the most exciting freezing initiation of awesome. fun times fun times.

We've still got plenty of science left to complete. Then we pack and head home to our land fairing dwellings.

Enjoying the last couple days left to be rocked by the sea =)

From Geoff: A picture of the front tower on the bow of Atlantis, looking to the sky. Yes, I know the worms are the other direction, but thanks for reminding me.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Last Dive Day!

Hey Reeders,

Sorry I've been pretty busy the last few days working on worms! We had a total of two more dives. The one I had with Ray Andrell, and one following with Suni and a crew member. I would have liked a few more worms on the second dive, but you never get everything you want out here. The key is making a good story with what you get. That said, I have processed over 250 worms so far this cruise, and expect to get at least 50 more before I go. So, not too bad for only 4 dives, 2 of which were awesome for collections. My hope is this will provide me enough data to really wrap up the data collection for the core of my thesis.

Today is the last dive of the series (most likely unless we get a 1/2 day dive tomorrow). We are back at the drilling site and they are finishing up their work here. The exciting news is Kiana, who was bumped from the dive after mine because the mass spec wasn't working, is in the sub right now! Suni went on the dive following mine and got some good Mass Spec data on our last dive, and Kiana got a chance to dive with the other group, so everything ended up working out in the end for our group.

After today we're headed back into port, in Astoria Oregon. We're slated to arrive on Sunday, so I think we'll get a couple more updates in before the dock is in sight.


Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Deep Saw

I did it! Dive number 2 for me, Dive number 4534 for the Alvin. Bit of coincidence, my first dive was 4334, exactly 200 dives ago. It was amazing, lots of cool structures down there. I got plenty PLENTY of good happy worms. I have 54 in my chambers right now. I have 120 "banked" in a big chamber in the cold room flowthrough with pressure. I've been up for 20 hours, on 4 hours sleep. I am exhausted and have a very very busy schedule tomorrow and for the rest of the cruise so my updates may be less complete, but I will get a guest blogger or two to fill in as well. Cheers and happy dives to you.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Dive Day!!!

Hey All!

Quick update right now and I'll fill you in later. I am going down in the sub to the vents today! In fact, I am heading down in a matter of minutes! I spent the last couple days getting my system up and double checking everything so I can rock this data down the last stretch of the cruise. 5 days left, and I intend to make them good.

See you on the other side!