A Morning List from Site U1419

Today is our 41st day at sea. A few people have asked whether I’m getting bored, or still enjoying the thrill of being at sea. It’s not even 8 am and these are the things I’ve seen so far today (in order):

1. A beautiful sun rising behind the Coastal Range of Alaska.
2. Incredible cores (that no one has ever seen before!) filled with a myriad of rock types (greenstones, metamorphosed sandstones/siltstones, red chert, granite, …) dropped from ice bergs ~100,000 years ago (see photo).
3. A Princess Cruise Ship (Yes, this was actually pretty cool. I appreciate all signs of life in the ocean these days).
4. A wonderful group of students from Lincoln, Nebraska and their teacher, Anica Brown, a former School of Rocker.
5. Three “Core on Deck!”(s), which are always cool.
6. The espresso machine (note: This piece of equipment will be visited after submitting this post, and is always a highlight of the day).

It’s funny, sometimes it still doesn’t feel like I’m on a ship in the Gulf of Alaska. I would have thought that after several weeks at sea it would have set in more, but I find myself sitting outside in the evenings reminding myself that I’m in the middle of the ocean (while staring into the ocean). I feel very proud that research programs like the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) exist to advance our knowledge of the Earth’s history and development through time and that I have the opportunity to be a part of it.

And to make this post just a little cheesier, I’ll make an analogy. The JOIDES Resolution reminds me of an Earth-bound, seagoing version of the International Space Station. We have an international team of expert scientists on board representing 12 countries (the U.S., Japan, Germany, the UK, Brazil, Spain, Norway, Canada, New Zealand, India, Australia, and South Korea), the ship is outfitted with state of the art laboratories to analyze deep sea sediments, and our scientists are making discoveries about the planet we live on for the good of mankind. How cool is that?! I think Neil Armstrong might agree that the work done by the JR is “one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind,” one expedition at a time.

So I've been pretty well entertained so far. We'll see what the final 20 days of the expedition have to offer! Since we'll be drilling into shallower water at our final three sites I can imagine that it's only going to get more exciting from here!

Comments

IRDs - Dropstones

Dear Alison,

An impressive range of Dropstones (IRDs) in the core. It reminds me of the bigger glacier carried rocks found along the Washington State coast of the Strait of San Juan de Fuca.

best wishes,
Joseph