Ode to Hole 395A

Goodbye, 395A. You’ve been a great hole. Ever since you were originally cored in 1975, you’ve been a source of new and wonderful scientific information. The rocks and sediment you gave up will remain in the great libraries of core for all time. The information you’ve shown us has given rise to new knowledge so that other scientists can continue to study and understand the seafloor. You graciously let us stuff a CORK in you in 1984, and sat there patiently while it measured this and that, invading your privacy for over a decade. Then, you finally got a breath of fresh seawater for a day or two before we stuck another CORK in you. But alas, this will be the last time we see you, since our CORK broke off and there’s no way to get our instruments out again. We may get close to you again, but we will never be able to sample your wondrous depths. It’s almost as sad as when Wilson the volleyball floated away in “Castaway.” Or maybe sadder, because you’re much older than Wilson was. You have a long and glorious history, and we’re all going to miss you. You really were the best hole ever.

CORK head from 395A

The waters are brightenening. Scientists won't let you go. They will think of a way to get back their instruments, which are still measuring and sampling in your depths. Think, scientists, think! Hole 395A will be open again someday!

Comments

There's hope!

Wow, that was a very moving ode. But don't worry, there's hope! The equipment could be easily retrieved with an ROV that has grasping arms, cameras, and an extremely long tether. I think that could at least help a bit.
Keep up the good work on the JR!
-Luke

Thanks, Luke!

I'm sure the scientists and engineers will be able to think of something. There's valuable information down there and they're not ready to give up yet!

don't give up on 395A yet!

Actually, I think 395A still has a chance at life! Although the CORK is broken off, the instrument string that we assembled is still on the inside, keeping the inside of the CORK casing sealed. The scientists on board are already discussing plans to try to grapple the instrument string out in the future, to recover the valuable OsmoSamplers and temperature loggers that are deep down in the hole. So, 395A may still be useful for our scientific purposes!

i hope so!

I'd like to think that all the scientists and engineers who are so good at thinking outside the box and solving complex problems will be able to work together and come up with a way to get those OsmoSamplers and thermistors back! Maybe it won't be for a while yet, but I'm sure it can be done. And then Hole 395A will live on!

Sorry about your stuck cork!

How expensive was the stuff that you guys lost? How did the cork break off? What instruments did you lose? Were you able to retrieve the information even though the cork was stuck? Did your mission end early and what are you going to do know? Rock on science, PCDS.

The hole is in a better place now.

science = time and money

When you count all the time and money it took to design the equipment, purchase the materials, assemble it, bring it out to the ship, then deploy it to the bottom, I'm sure we're talking about millions of dollars here. But science doesn't always work perfectly the first time, and there are often setbacks! We're still not sure what happened to the CORK; the engineers are looking back through the data from the drill string, and looking at the remaining parts to see if they can piece together what happened. The instrument string has dropped further into the hole, and we are unable to access any of the data at this time. Hopefully, scientists will figure out a way to get the equipment back in the future, and maybe we'll even be able to use the data from the OsmoSamplers! For now, we're going to go ahead with our mission, which includes drilling two more holes and placing two more CORK observatories in them, plus some sediment and basalt coring. Science must go on!