Touch down!

A much better day on the JOIDES Resolution today and indeed a banner day because we have achieved one of our major stated objectives by finally reaching the basaltic basement at Site U1433.

Steady as she goes

We are getting closer to basaltic basement now but still have a couple of hundred meters to go before we can breath easily.

Half way there

Another day of steady progress drilling to the basement and we are now over half way to our target. We don’t want to go too fast because this would indicate that the formation is soft and therefore liable to collapse which would stop us getting to basalt in the end. Like many good things basement is a pleasure to be waited for. Fortunately we have been going at a good pace.

Deeper and older

We are making steady progress deepening this site and we are now running rotary core barrels (RCB) now that the formation has become harder if not actually hard stone just yet.

Belated Mardi Gras

Today has been a busy one here on the JR. First we had our traditional cruise photograph with all the members of the ship, including scientists, technicians, cooks, drilling staff, marine crew all posed for a group shot arranged around the front of the bridge/accommodation block.

Horns in the night

It was a busy day in the lab again as we dusted off our rusty skills with the various database programs and at the core table and got down to the serious work of processing the core from the 180 m deep drill hole we have made so far with the Advanced Piston Corer (APC).

Core on Deck

“Core on Deck!” What a beautiful sound to hear on the ship’s intercom this morning. We have been waiting two weeks for those magic words that tell us about we are back in business. It was a wonderful sight to see the new core being carried onto the catwalk and sliced up in the time-honored fashion before being brought inside for the techs and scientists to work on.

Waiting for Core

They say that being a soldier in war is 90% boredom followed by 10% action and on this cruise it is feeling like being a marine geologist is pretty similar to this. We are now at our new drilling site and waiting for the fresh material to arrive in the lab so that we can get going.

Fishing boats and fishing birds

Today we have been headed steadily towards the southwest and we should be at our new site shortly after midnight on Saturday morning.

Go west!

After our disappointment yesterday we started today with a new plan for renewal and determination to make the best of our last few weeks at sea. Unfortunately the weather has become rougher in the last day so our original idea of continuing to drill close to Hole U1432, but in a location where the igneous basement was close to the sea floor is not feasible under these conditions.

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