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7 August, 2001

August 7, 2001

Accidents Happen

When I went to bed last night, the dredge was being lowered into the water. It can take well over an hour to reach the ocean floor, so I figured that when I went on my shift at 5:30am, I would find many rocks awaiting me. I merrily went down to the lab this morning only to find that an accident had happened.

When the dredge hit the ocean floor, it scraped along and was most certainly filled with rocks. When it came time or raise it, the wire used to reel it in snapped and all was lost-- the rocks, the dredge, 4000 meters of wire (over 2 miles worth), and a piece of equipment that was attached to the wire called a MAPR. A MAPR is used to collect data concerning water temperature, pressure, and light scatter. It's purpose is to detect hydrothermal vents on the ocean floor. Everyone was disappointed and upset. Our first attempt to bring up rock failed, and we lost valuable equipment.

We plan to attempt another dredge later today. In the mean time, we lowered a wax corer down and it hit the ocean floor. A nice amount of glass (obsidian) was stuck in the wax and brought up successfully. This will begin being analyzed later this evening.

Life on the icebreaker has been comfortable. When not on duty, I have kept myself busy. Some of the places I spend time when not on my shift include the gym (small, but with a good deal of equipment) the library, the laundry room, and of course the mess hall. Meals are important around here, and very good. They include a large variety. I may be a little larger when I return home! After a 6:00 pm science meeting each night, I also tune into a movie (shown over the ship's entertainment system at 6:00 and 8:00 pm).


* Latitude: 85 06 N

* Longitude: 11 24 E

*Temperature: 35 F

*Water temperature: 29 F

Here is our first core sample. We filled metal tubes with wax and sent them down to hit the ocean floor. The shiny black glassy rock is obsidian. <>

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