Cruise preparation, part 2

We made it to the Atlantis yesterday and got moved in.  The ship is magnificently designed for scientific research and it was really exciting to first see her.  Knowing all of the great discoveries that have been made aboard this very ship, from the Titanic to the mid-ocean ridge faunal communities, it is quite a pleasure to be aboard her.  In addition, the science party is made up of an incredibly talented group of research professionals and students, and we are very much optimistic that this cruise will be a huge success. 

Alvin is also undergoing some last minute re-fits to mount a newly designed water sampling apparatus to her.  This system will allow the Alvin pilots to drop a sampling tube into these high-dense brine pool waters and collect up to 18 individual water samples.  The 4 Alvin pilots aboard the ship performed a weight test on Alvin today with the newly designed ‘brine trapper’ and determined the maximum number of samples that could be collected and still remain positively buoyant (an important consideration if we want to come home!). 

Today, we finished unloading the trucks and setting up the lab space that Rich and I will be using.  We had a meeting with the Alvin pilots regarding pre-dive planning.  We learned about the oxygen system and emergency procedures in the event of the pilot losing consciousness.  Tomorrow, they will take us in pairs inside the Alvin and show us all the video equipment that we will be in charge of running while on a dive.     

We are still getting used to life aboard a ship (at least I am, since Rich has done this numerous times before).  The bunks are a little small for my taste, and I’ll need to practice sleeping in such a confined area.  The food is good, and it seems the cooks are always working on the next meal to feed all ~60 people on board.

We depart at 09:00 tomorrow (Monday, Nov. 8th) morning.  We have an 18 hour steam to the first dive site, so we should arrive at station around 3:00 Tuesday morning. 

Field Note Event: