Sunday, May 30, 2010

Sunday May 30, 2010

Above: This morning's beautiful sunrise

Isabela Looms,

Hazy sunset, waves, Blue feet,

Dredges upon us.

As we sit here at 7:02pm local time – 1:02am Zulu (the time we use for keeping records) – the main science lab is caught in a mild frenzy as preparations continue to be made in advance of the dredging that we will begin tomorrow morning.

Above: Karen Harpp and Eric Mittelstaedt enjoying the view

After enjoying an especially awesome sunset offshore of Pinta Island, with a cloud-capped view of Wolf Volcano on Isabela Island (the highest point in the Galapagos; epsilon Nd of +8, oooh) in the distance, we are now back at work in the lab measuring the last of the bathymetry, side-scan sonar, and gravity, making maps, and sorting out dredge plans. Unfortunately we are no longer collecting Mag data, as we discovered soon after dinner tonight that Maggie had crossed the MR1 wire, and needed to be brought up immediately. After a few tense moments, the Maggie was recovered successfully, and all is okay. Though we’d prefer to have it out and taking data, the situation could have been much worse.

Above: A view of Wolf Volcano on Isabela Island

In today’s science meeting we discussed the possibility of making watch changes for the dredging portion of the cruise (the final decision on whether that goes through is still pending) and listened to a presentation given by Miguel Calderón – one of the Ecuadorian scientists on the cruise – about his work for the Ecuadorian government in establishing official offshore territorial boundaries for diplomatic and economic purposes, including work in the Galapagos.

Above: The new route we took today. This track line extends across the survey area.

In other news, as we said before, we’re getting close to beginning the dredging process and are currently looping around Pinta and Marchena islands to collect some final bathymetric, side-scan, and gravity data. Final preparations for our days in port on Santa Cruz Island are also being made, and everyone is excited for tortoises, sea lions, and boobies.

Above: A red footed boobie

Above: Bud conducting an XBT

Check out this link [insert link here] for the latest crewmember interview with Brian Rowe, another of our awesome Res Techs.

Below: Alison(left) Karen(Middle) and Eric

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