We've made it to Australia!

Sharon and I made it to Townsville yesterday afternoon.  It was my first long plane trip, and to be honest, I felt AWFUL by the time we got to the hotel.  However, a good night's sleep made all the difference.  Everyone here is very friendly, and of course, I love the Australian accents.  We're learning the tricks of Australian English - Sharon ordered bisquits for breakfast

Flat Stanley is packing samples

 Hey kids, I'm packing up the last samples here. See, I even have my own sample bag to take with me. I have packed up my boots and hard hat, too.

This morning we saw an island! One of the scientists on board told me it was part of Papua New Guinea. We're heading to port now. We should be in Townsville, Australia in just a few days.

Flat Stanley Samples

 Takashi Sano:

I am Takashi Sano from the capital city of Japan. Do you know which city I'm speaking of?

I am co-Chief Scientist on this expedition. If you like you can help me with sampling, Flat Stanley. Would you like to take one sample on your own? You can put it in your own sample bag over there.

Flat Stanley:

Crossing the Equator

The JOIDES Resolution is now south of the Equator! We made it! It was a treacherous and terrible stretch, but we successfully navigated our way across the Equator. It took us almost 3 days for this part of the journey to conclude, but by the grace of His Royal Highness, King Neptune himself granted us permission to cross the Equator.

Flat Stanley and the bunk beds

 Oh look, how high I can climb on this ladder, I'm almost there. I think the entire bed is made of metal. Did you see the bar on the upper bed? Do you know what it's good for?

I looked around in this cabin and I couldn't find any window here. So if you turn out the light, it will always be dark in the room. Hmmm, I don't know if I'm brave enough......

Flat Stanley looks into a cabin

 Hey kids,

I heard you want to know where the people here on board sleep?

Here you can see me entering the cabin of two scientists. They are working at the moment so we'll sneak in and have a look around. I see they have a desk where they can work right next to their bunk beds. Maybe I can climb into the upper one.

Flat Stanley and his thin section

 Wow!!! This is sooooo awesome! Look, I'm part of the rock! Ten of the crystals around me would fit into one millimeter of space on a ruler.

How many orange and yellow mineral crystals do you see?

Flat Stanley and the microscope

 Hey kids, have you seen a microscope before? The scientists here on board need it to look at very thin slices of rock, which have been cut from the cores. They are so thin that you can shine light through them and see all of the details in the rock.

Did you know rocks are made of different kinds of minerals?

Flat Stanley greets Mr. Moore

Now, I know where that sound came from. It was a rock saw, which cuts the cores into two halves. Look I'm standing on the halves and I can actually see what is inside these rock cores. These two scientists here, Julie Prytulak from Canada and Akira Ishikawa from Japan, make observations about the different rocks. Do you know what an observation is?

Flat Stanley at the labelling table

Hey kids! Do you know where I am now? I'm right on top of several cores the technicians cut out of the core liners. This is what ocean floor rocks look like. I'm holding a wax marker and a labeling machine in my hands. Maybe I can help the technicians here a little bit and mark all these cores so the scientists know the exact depth from which they came, because they all look the same to me!

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