Things that helped me get through the infamous week 6...

I have been blessed to experience the joys of working on a world-famous research vessel with some of the smartest, friendliest people on Earth for 12 hours a day, 7 days a week, in a close and confined space. As of September 13, 2015, everyone on this ship has worked for exactly 6 weeks: a total of 502 hours.

A Blog on the Log of the Hole at the Bottom of the Sea

We've been talking a lot in this blog about the cores we recover, but they're not the only source of data we use. We also get a lot of information out of the holes those cores leave behind. The holes have the same sediment layers as the cores, and unlike the cores themselves, which can be incomplete or mixed-up, the sediments in the ground can give us a very consistent record, hundreds of metres long. We measure the sediments on the walls of the hole in a process called "downhole logging".

A helideckload of fun!


We've finished site U1462, there's no core coming up, and we haven't seen land or had a weekend for six weeks. The six week point is famous for being a bit of a slump in every expedition, as all that time at sea starts to catch up with everyone. So to keep everyone's spirits up and stave off cabin fever, our staff-scientist Kara arranged some silliness with "Feats of Strength" on the helideck. It was all terribly unscientific. Read on!

What is the Indonesian Throughflow?

On our expeditions page, we wrote out our science objectives for coring along the western coast of Australia. Our focus, as the name suggests, of the expedition is to follow the history of the Indonesian Throughflow (ITF) and the Leeuwin Current to investigate topics like tectonics, climate change, and the development of ocean currents in this region.

So what are the ITF and the Leeuwin Current?

A Total Amateur's Guide to Core Description

As an education officer, I'm usually the least qualified scientist in the lab. I can't identify foram species on sight like the palaeontologists, I can't read a Zijderveld graph like the palaeomagnetists, and I wouldn't even know where to START operating an Ion Chromatograph. But there is one area that I feel like I can actually help out a little, and that's at the core description tables.

Women in Science

In one of my recent live broadcasts with the Marina Del Ray Middle School, a very interesting question was asked: “Most of the scientists we can see, or the ones you have shown us, have been women. Are there a lot of women on the JR?

Charts and Crafts

Last week, I gave you a quick tour of the JOIDES Resolution engine control room, where the ship's functions are monitored and managed. But if the engine control room is the brain of the ship, then surely the bridge must be the brain. Another brain. The ship has two brains, like a stegosaurus.

Hump(back) Day!

We've finally reached the halfway point of our expedition, and I'm feeling a bit sentimental. It felt like months the first couple weeks, but now it feels as if the days are just flying by.

Geochemists: Living in the Lab of Luxury

Most of the scientists are based up on the core deck, where they have easy access to the sediment as it comes in. The downside is they don't have much space to spread out, and if people aren't watching where they're going, someone's likely to get a core section to the back of the head.

Mechanical Mystery Tour

The JR has pulled into site U1462, and while we wait for the first cores to come up, the scientists get a tour of the parts of the ships we normally don't get to see. For most of the expedition, we live and work near the bow (front) of the ship, in the laboratories, accommodation, mess hall, and rec areas. So let's explore the noisy world of heavy marine industry!

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