Learning about the cores

May 11th, 2009

There are a lot of people on the ship.  Because of how expensive the ship is, science has to be done all hours of the day, even at night!  Everyone works for 12 hours and gets 12 hours off.

Today we started transitioning to our shifts.  My shift is from midnight to noon.  I got up this morning at 4:30 AM to start getting ready. Tonight I will try to wake up at midnight, a time when most bears are still asleep.

This ship really is a floating city.  We have to get food, have water, and places to sleep.  I also discovered that there is a gym in the front of the ship (called the bow by sailors).  My legs are a little too short for the exercise bike, so I made Dan exercise for me.  They also have weights for lifting, a rowing machine, a punching bag, and all sorts of other equipment.  It is a good thing that they have a gym because the food on the ship is so good, this bear is going to need a lot of exercise.

Today we started looking at some real cores taken by the scientists before us.  When cores of mud come out of the drill I showed you yesterday, they are in very long clear plastic tubes.  These long tubes are cut into 7 pieces.  Before I can look at the mud, the tubes have to be cut in half.  Then after the core is cut in half, one half goes to one group where they do a bunch of tests on it, and my group gets the other half.  We write down the color and any shapes we see in the core.  We also take pictures of the cores.  We have seen lots of colors already, from brown, to white, to green and black.  There is so much these cores will tell us, and I look forward to sharing the story with you as we start to read it.

Tonight will be our first real shifts.  The people who work during the day will go to bed at midnight, and we will start working at midnight.  So I am going to bed even though it is only 3 PM and the sun is high.  Talk to you tomorrow!