8 weeks 2 days
The Teeming, Empty Ocean
Submitted by Elizabeth Abernathy on Sat, 06/27/2009 - 22:57
Each day goes by so fast--I never thought I could focus on one thing all day, every day, but none of this seems boring. Our instructors are amazing, which probably helps. And we take plenty of time to go outside and look at the water stretching out endlessly in every direction.
I am not a good photographer, so I have no way of taking picture that can share the feeling of seeing nothing buy whitecaps in every direction. When I was out this morning, I saw a pod of about 5 dolphins--porpoises?--swimming by the boat. I managed to get this one picture that shows two of them jumping at the same time. They were colored a lot darker gray than the dolphins at the Port Aransas ferry in Texas!
We also got more detail today as to the purpose (porpoise? bad joke) of this leg of the expedition. We are going to re-cement some CORKS that are not sealed properly. CORKS are basically what they sound like--a giant plug that is put into a previously drilled hole to seal it up. The point is more than to keep your wine in the bottle, however--there are a multitude of measuring instruments that go down on the CORKS that are trying to measure characteristics of deep sea sediments without disturbing too much the very things they are trying to measure. CORKS can stay in place for 10 years, which is good because it takes about 2 years just for the heat flow and water pressure to go back to normal after the CORKS is inserted. I can't wait to watch the cementing operations!