Thursday, June 10, 2010

Wednesday June, 10

Day 26 out to sea and things are getting interesting,

Late last night, the boys of the 12-4 watch, in all their sleep deprived glory, decided to dress up in the rain jackets and boots we have here in the lab and pose for “prom” pictures. Below is what Alison so wonderfully captured for your viewing pleasure:
The boys looking tough
Nick, Cam, Marques, and Will in the classic prom pose!
no need for a caption...

Early this morning the 4-8 watch was lucky enough to spot a pod of whales swimming by the boat. They ran up to the bridge and used the binoculars to get a closer look. They were about 7 feet long and visible for 10 minutes before swimming off in the distance.

Later this morning we got a dredge with several small rounded black rocks. At first we were a little disappointed thinking we only dredged up a bunch of manganese, but then we began cutting the rocks open and to our surprise found some very interesting things. We think we have collected a set of rocks from the lower crust or the upper mantle. One type could be a dunite, which is made of olivine, but we won’t know until we get thin section (slides) for sure what kind of minerals we are looking at. Some of the other ones were made of the dunite with some basalt in the center. It is really rare to have rocks come up from so deep in the earth, so if these really are from the lower crust or upper mantle it will be really awesome! The dredge site was not a seamount, but a series of faults on the ocean floor.Cheif and Chris examining the puzzling rocks
Even the Captain got in on the excitement!

With all the rock collection that has been going on, the chisels we use to chip glass have become quite dull. In order to sharpen them, we need to use the grinder down in the machine shop. Ally has taken to a strong liking for this machine and shows the various chisel sharpening steps below:Step 1: Put on long sleevesStep 2: Put on face mask
Step 3: SHARPEN!!!!

King Neptune visited the shellbacks today and had them relay a message to the pollywogs: the ceremonies will be held this Saturday evening, and the pollywogs are expected to come up with skits and songs to entertain he shellbacks for at least 15 minutes. We are all frantically coming up with ideas of things we can do in order to please King Neptune’s Court and the shellbacks. There are a lot of pollywogs on the ship so we will have to get organized, and fast!

With only 8 more days left on the cruise, we are all beginning to come up with ideas and topics for our senior theses. We have all learned so much and been introduced to several new ideas while on this cruise that choosing just one topic will be tough. Some students are thinking of comparing the Wolf-Darwin Lineament to the Cheerio-Nubbin Lineament, by looking at the chemical makeup of the various rocks. Many ideas are being thrown around and topics will change as research begins in the lab, but we definitely have gathered a lot of samples to use for our future projects, and the sonar and bathymetric maps will be critical in the work as well.

Schlitzer's tongue after eating some blue candy!
The 8-12 watch monitors the dredge from under a warm blanket!

The link below is to a website that takes pictures from the cameras on the ship every 10 minutes, so click below and you can watch as we bring up dredges and hang on the quarter deck!

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