Heave Compensators and Thrusters

I was asked recently – Nasseer, have you gotten your sea legs yet? My answer was – I really don’t need to, when the ship is stationary and the ‘drill string’ is lowered, the controls of the ship is handed off to the thrusters controls (see photo). I have not been on a more stable ship as the JOIDES Resolution before. Even in the conditions we are currently experiencing, I am amazed at how stable we are sitting. It is important that the ship is stable in order for the drilling to happen with such accuracy as it does. As the ship is exposed to the sea movement, waves and swells, the ship sits still in order to allow the control of the drilling 4 km below the sea surface and drill deep into the hard igneous rock that we are doing right now. Another important aspect of the compensators and thrusters in maintaining the stability of the ship is that it allows for the establishment laboratories onboard. There are labs for geochemical, magnatism, paeleo, density analyses and many more. When the call goes out “CORE ON DECK!!!”, analysis of the samples are begun within minutes after the core is processed and curated, instant gratification! What a way to do research!