End of the hole

We have now decided to stop coring at the site because our rate of penetration had decreased to a very low value so that we were spending a lot of time acquiring a relatively small amount of material and the co-chief scientists decided to curtail further activities so that we save some more time for sampling at other locations. This decision was helped by the fact that we had got some very high quality material so that we could feel confident that our scientific objectives here would be met after the cruise is finished. We are now going to perform downhole geophysical logging before moving a relatively short distance to the north to sample the basement in another place closer to the midocean ridge. Our hope now is that we will not have to core the sedimentary rocks themselves but will drill without recovering core until we are very close to the basalt again. This is OK because our primary scientific goal is to date the end of the seafloor spreading. My picture today shows Roy Davis, lab officer (i.e., chief technician), a veteran of ocean scientific drilling bringing fresh core onto the catwalk after it has been extracted from the core barrel on the drill floor. It is good to sail with Roy again because he was photographer on my very first expedition way back in 1990 and is a great person to work with.