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Ocean Life Comes in All Sizes!

Now this is the life! Fresh air, wind in your hair, and a great view of the ocean. Last evening while lounging an ocean visitor came by. My friend, Whale, came to put on a short show for us. He swam across the front of the ship and then came down the left side (in sailor talk that would be the port side).

Ocean Life - Large and Small!

I know that the focus of Expedition 329 is microbial life in the ocean sediments but apparently the larger organisms are jealous and continue to remind us that they are here also. We had a whale visit us last evening and it provided a lot of excitment as it put on a show for us. The whale swam across just ahead of the bow, down the port side, and then back again to cross the bow a second time!

Drilling

Hi! Today we will talk about the types of coring that can be done. For the past few days, the scientists have been interested in the sediments of the ocean floor. Since the sediments are soft, the crew "pushes" a hollow tube, called a corer into the sediments. Using high pressure the corer is shot out the bottom of the drill pipe and it collects a long sample of the sediments.

Drilling Basalt

The weather today is starting off better than yesterday; there are stratocumulus clouds across the sky with some patches of blue. The ocean water is very calm, as it has been for several days now.

Rain Rain Go Away!

Here I am trying to stay dry as it was raining when I got up this morning. It looks like it may get better as the day progresses but we'll see. We are drilling our last hole at this particular location in the ocean and then we will move eastward.

Sort of a Dreary Day

We woke up to a rainy day today but the drilling continues rain or shine. The crew is currently drilling site U1365D, which is the 4th hole at this first site. We will move on to another location when the coring of this hole is done. Chert has been found in all of the cores and it presents a bit of a problem in recovering complete cores.

The Scientists Are Very Busy!

Brrrrrr..... It's cold in here! I'm in the refridgerator room way down in the ship with the scientists who are collecting samples from the cores. The temperature down here is about 7 degrees C and the scientists work in this room for 12 hours a day. The cold temperature is necessary to prevent chemical changes from happening before the scientists can study the sediments.

A Busy Day Onboard!!

In the past day, it has become extremely busy onboard as scientists are now receiving many samples. The labs humming away. We have completed hole U1365B and early this morning the ship was moved 20 meters to the north to begin hole U1365C. As you can see in the photo, some of the scientists are working in a cold room (4 degrees C) within the chemistry lab.

Describing the Cores

Good morning or evening or whatever time it happens to be for you! I am sitting on the core table where the cores are laid out after they have been split lengthwise in a nearby room. This allows the scientists to observe what the sediments look like. They carefully look over the core sections and describe them in detail.

Have We Found Anything Yet?

Have we found anything yet? We sure have! One of the sediment cores contained a manganese nodule that was mixed in with the dark brown sediments. As you can see, the sediments contain a lot of water and the ruler provides a scale for determining size. Manganese nodules form on the seafloor by a very slow precipitation process.

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