LOTS of PEOPLE!
What you see in the picture are lots and lots of paper flags on toothpicks. Each different flag represents a different scientist and sample requested. It looks like a mini United Nations with all the flags flying! Each core will provide samples to be used by different scientists for different purposes. And that’s not even counting the gas analyses and water analyses that are done on the fluids that come out of the core.
The drillers are looking for the mudline (finding the surface of the ocean floor) and getting the drill bit ready. Everyone is jittery and excited and full of anticipation. It feels like the opening night of a broadway show! I’ve been told core is expected on deck somewhere around 1 pm ship time. Some scientists are staying up to see it come in, others are going to bed because their samples won’t be ready for them for quite a while. They are going to get some sleep while they can. I have a great view of the drill floor from my office window, so I can watch what is going on and know when I need to run outside with my camera. It’s still pretty chilly but the sun is coming out now. I’m going to take that as a good sign for this first hole.