Sleep, or lack thereof

So, last night, our first real night at sea (not in harbor), the wall started squeaking.  Luckily, I had brought ear plugs, so I used them, and slept right through my alarm for a total of 9.5 hours of sleep.  Good thing I caught up, because tonight we started hitting real waves, and I mean hitting literally!  From my bunk, I can hear the smack of the water on the bottom of the ship, and I can feel the difference--we are not just pitching (prow of ship moving up and down), but also rolling (tipping from side to side).  In addition to make the entire ship creak, it gives a feeling not unlike riding a rodeo bull in extremely slow motion.  I am lucky in that I am still not seasick (!), but I had one of those nights where you know you must have slept some, but it seems like you remember every movement of the bed underneath you--what, you landlubbers don't have the bed move around underneath you??  How strange.  I don't know if these blogs have a timestamp, but it is 4:45am, and I have been distinctly awake and hungry since 3:30, so I decided to get up and tell folks about yesterday.

Our big thing yesterday was looking at multiple lines of data about some example cores, and try to figure out what it could mean.  My group was lucky in that our Magnetic Susceptability (basically, a proxy measurement for the amount of magnetic elements/minerals are found along the core) showed some very clear patterns:  3 "events" (spikes up or down) dividing 4 "zones" (distinct regimes that were similar in Magnetic Susceptability, either because it was quite variable, or with very little variance).  After discussing all of our observations of trends in the data, we finally got to see the cores, which was exciting, but emphasized to me again how hilarious it is that humans always want to see with our eyes, because our eyes tell us a lot less than the computerized measurements!  After all of that, John Firth revealed to us that all 4 of the holes (cores) were alike in that they all crossed the Eocene-Oligocene boundary, roughly 33-34 Mya.  What is really amazing to me was the tidbit that the divisions of the geologic time scale were first developed by looking at faunal changes in rocks in the United Kingdom in the 1800s, but we now have global data gathered using modern methods (like ocean sediments cores!) that supports those original divisions.  That is, they weren't just local phenomena, but reflections of larger changes in the Earth.  As scientists, we have to be open to changing our hypotheses when there is new data, so it's nice every once in a while to find out that someone was "right"!


Glad to hear from ya!

Sounds like you are having a real trip. At lest you have the cooler weather. You picked the right 2 weeks to go to sea. I look forward to the updates. Take care.


Elaine--I'm having fun, but still trying to work a little on the IPGs. How's your guidebook finishing up?

Hi Abs!

Is it bad that when I read about your data analysis I just hear a clanging noise in my head? :) I'm glad that you haven't felt seasick, and of course impressed that you're such a prepared camper with your earplugs! Hope you get some ZZZs tonight! - Riley
P.S. Does the ship's pitching and rolling have the same affect on your knitting as Happy Hour?

Oh Ms. Riiiilleeeeeey!

Well, I did finally get seasick yesterday, and had a rough few hours until my patch kicked in. I missed the Captain's part of the boat tour because I had to go stand outside and just watch the waves so that I didn't puke. My knitting is the same as ever--I saw a dropped stick two rows down and had to borrow a crochet hook to bring it back up. It looks okay now, and probably after I block it the mistake will be unnoticeable. They gave us a book written by a woman who went on an Expedition a few years ago, and she mentions that one of the pieces of equipment broke, and the scientist who was supposed to use it ended up spending most of her time knitting--so the boat has seen it before!

Greeting from ESBD

Hi Elizabeth.

I am writing from our annual ESBD workshop in Austin (TXESS Revolution and UTeach) and we are all eagerly tracking your activities. Some of us are very jealous, but everyone appreciates your very informative, detailed blog posts. Hey, wondering how your hair style is standing up? Hope you won't run out of product!


Kathy et al.

P.S. Waiting for those pics.

Hello to UTIG

Dr. Ellins,

My hair is too short to even need product, unless you count sunscreen so my head doesn't burn! I let some kids shave it off the last day of school, and being on the boat I'm glad I don't have to worry about hairstyles. On my latest blog, I did just put up a picture of dolphins that I took this morning. I'll work on getting some more up, but for some reason the computers onboard are running really slow. Leslie Peart said it wasn't bad like that on the first leg of the Expedition (312), so maybe it has something to do with them updating the systems. I went back to look at the pictures of the R/V Knorr, and I "get" them a lot more now!! Our moon pool is partly under a roof, and off limits, so I won't have as good of a picture as you did, but I'll work on getting some more of mine up.