A Cork In The Hole
Day 10 (Wed. Sept 15) This morning I got up about 5:30 am for a run around the helipad before our typical 7:30 am start. Sometimes I run with my room-mate Amy, but today she was participating in a videoconference showing off the gumby suit (life saving bright red body suit that is hard to put on and makes one look really ridiculous). On my way back, I stopped by the rigging floor to check out the current state of events (remember these guys go 24-7) and discovered that the ACORK (the top portion of the sub-marine instrumentation that will measure sea floor pressure and temperature) was being attached and lowered down. Eventually by 7:30 pm the ACORK with it's umbilical cord properly attached was sent to the sea floor. Watching the images from the underwater camera, we were able to see (and cheer) as this giant heavy instrument was placed into a hole about twice the size of a pie by manipulating wenches and cranes from 1300 m above in heaves of 3-6 meter waves. A hole in one! Tomorrow they add a Remote Observation Vehicle (ROV) platform around the hole/ACORK for future visits by Alvin to upload information about seismic activity and changes to the sea floor. This along with the other approximately 25 CORK/ACORK sensors set along the sea floor will give scientists a clearer understanding of how to prepare cities for earthquakes & tsunamis from building permits to emergency evacuations.