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.

POOH Crisis

Unfortunately this crisis has nothing to do with Winnie-the-Pooh or even Pooh Sticks. Today was not a good one for Exhibition 349 and one that will no doubt be marked by a good deal of cake and cookie therapy later in the galley.

Ship-to-shore video

One of the new developments for me about returning to the drilling vessel after some years of absence is the transformation in outreach that is now going on as an integral part of each cruise.

Tiny details

It has been long time since my last post, thanks Peter Clift ( keeps posting and informing you about the latest updates of the 349 Expedition.


Today was a relatively quiet one for the science party, while at the same time on the rig floor the final string of casing has been lowered into the hole successfully and is being cemented into place, which is the last phase before the renewal of coring activities.

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