Meet the JR! – Day 8, 7/12/09

Sorry I missed a day, but yesterday was spent recruiting bloggers. Hopefully you’ll soon see some of their thoughts about this expedition. Training continued yesterday as we ran a core from Expedition 321 through the process we will be using once things heat up at the first drilling site.

For today’s blog, I’d like to give you some information about the JOIDES Resolution. She (and forgive my use of the pronoun, but I can’t help but to personify her) was built in 1978 in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. That’s the home of a couple of my Canadian friends! Hiya Charlene and David. She was just upgraded in 2008 in Singapore. She is 470.5 ft long and 70 ft wide. Her light displacement (the mass of the ship excluding cargo, fuel, ballast, stores, passengers, crew) is 9449 st (st or short tons are equal to 2000 lbs).
She has a minimum water depth of 300 ft and a maximum of 27,000 ft. She can stay at sea for 75 days without re-provisioning and is capable of traveling through the Panama Canal. She is powered by 7 EMD 16 cylinder diesel engines, 5 at 2100 kw (3000 horse power) and 2 at 1500 kw (2200 horse power). She carries 936,000 gallons (3,000 metric tons) of fuel! The derrick is 205 feet above the water line, so she stands tall, even next to the giant cruise ships we saw in Victoria. The deck has three fixed pedestal cranes. And most importantly (to me at least!) she carries 135 people.
Now I know some of you have other questions about this incredible ship, right?  So ask away, and I'll answer.  And if I can't answer I'll find the answer.  Talk to you next time!


Proud of you Doug

HI Doug,

I have a link on the school website so your students can follow your adventures. We are very proud of you and will be following you throug your adventure.

Lisa Gallegos


I agree with Gallegos, you really make me and SC proud. Looking forward to following your blog.
Jennifer Bone


Please contact me about video conferencing. I am excited to see what we can do, and when. The opportunity is great.

Water depth?

You said her minimum water depth is 300ft. That's the minimum drilling depth? What about just cruising around? What is her draft? Do they have to be careful about the channels or docks they use when they come to port?

Drilling Depth

I decided to clarify this with Bubba, the resident Toolpusher and Core Technician. You can check out some of his video tours of the ship on the site. He assured me that although the stated minumum water depth for drilling was listed at 300 feet, that he'd drill in even more shallow water. The next leg has some sites that are only about 80 meters deep. I'll let you do the math to compare those two numbers.

The JR's draft of course varies with the fullness of her fuel tank. But a safe answer is probably somewhere in the neighborhood of 18-20 feet. As far as care when in port, she normally docks where cruise ships make their home, so there is plenty of room for her. I'd love to take her through the Panama Canal, just to see it, but I don't think Captain Alex will agree with the change in course. :)

the ship

Doug, I hope you realize how incredibly jealous some of us are. This is such a cool opportunity. Two questions for you: How many crew members does it take to operate the ship? and what do you mean by maximum water depth--does this mean her maximum depth for obtaining core samples?

Jealous? Cool.

Q: How many crew members does it take to operate the ship?
A: The ship operates with a crew of about 70. But keep in mind that this includes a diverse group of specialties required to drill.

Q: What do you mean by maximum water depth--does this mean her maximum depth for obtaining core samples?
A: Yes indeed, and again Bubba insisted that she can go, and has gone deeper. He's very proud of what this ship can do!