What a Difference a Few Weeks Can Make!
The other day, a friend of mine remarked on the photo that I have posted on my profile page for this blog. She said she couldn't believe just how calm the seas look in that picture. I admit, the waters behind me in that picture look so placid, I could easily be standing beside a lake -- or a pond, for that matter -- maybe even a swimming pool. And although the photo was taken just a few weeks ago, from right here on the JOIDES Resolution, and in the same location where we are now (positioned over ODP Hole 1256D in the Pacific Ocean about 900 kilometers west of Costa Rica) our weather and sea conditions have changed considerably.
What a difference a few weeks can make!!
Here's just how still the ocean looked back then around here...
[Photo by Daisuke Endo]
We haven't seen seas this calm -- or many full days of sunshine -- in weeks. In fact, I took a look back at the weather reports we get everyday, and for the first three weeks of the expedition, we had little to no wind, glassy-quiet waves that seemed like no waves at all, and sunrises and sunsets that really gave you something to remember. It was lovely, but we knew it couldn't last forever.
Then, right around the beginning of the 4th week of the expedition, things began to change...
[Photo by Bill Crawford]
And since then, it feels like we've had gray skies and rain for some or most of our days out here. There have been times when those of us who work inside in the ship's laboratories and offices have felt a bit couped up and impatient with the grayness outside. But the real heroes in all of this have been the drilling crews, who've kept working outside on the rigfloor, day and night, through all kinds of weather, and sometimes even with a smile still on their faces...
[Photos by Bill Crawford]