Friday, May 21, 2010

May 21 2010

Today is day two of having the MR1 sonar in the water and our watches have become much more interesting. We are getting a lot of data in from the MR1 and from the multi-beam bathymetry and are even beginning to mark out good spots for dredging. There have been a few minor bumps but nothing too unexpected.
The MR1 being lowered into the water
We did our first turn last night, which went well, we turned at a 6 degree angle for 15 minutes, then steamed a bit, then did another 90 degree turn, in order to make a full 180 degree turn. When it is time to turn, someone from the watch calls up to the bridge and tells the officer on watch or the captain when to turn and then when the turn is complete they call back and tell them when to straighten out again. It turns out our satellite that connects to the internet is blocked by the ship’s mast when we are heading northwest so we will not have internet about every other day. We have been standing watch for 5 days now so it seems like people are beginning to get used to their strange sleep schedules.

The screens where all the sonar data comes up

We have been able to see Darwin and Wolf islands for the past two days, which was nice after not seeing land for three whole days! Today we were really close to Wolf Island and were able to see sea caves, birds, and someone even saw a couple hammerhead sharks! It was really cool! We will not pass by another island until Pinta, which is a larger island than both Wolf and Darwin, but we will not pass that way for a couple days. It is strange looking out and not seeing land in any direction, but also makes you appreciate the beauty of the open sea.

The captain and some crew members have been calling us polliwogs lately, we found out that people who have not sailed across the equator are called polliwogs and those that have are called shellbacks. Apparently there is a big ceremony when we do cross the equator but it is top secret. The only thing we know is that it is supposed to be fun and a little embarrassing. We are all excited and anxious to see what happens!

We are also excited to finally be collecting and interpreting data.

The A-Frame at sunset

Mike enjoying the sunset

For the next installment of the "Crew Corner" we interviewed the Captain. You can find that here:

1 comment:

  1. The Galapagos Islands are the most incredible living museum of evolutionary changes, with a huge variety of endemic species (birds, land and sea animals, plants) and landscapes not seen anywhere else.