Best Laid Plans – Day 11, 7/15/09

So I had a plan for the 13th of July. A topic to write about with some historical relevance and interesting ties to the trip I am currently on. I’ll do my best to incorporate some of that into something today, and you’ll have to forgive the delay in getting to it. Perhaps I should stop making excuses? One of the valuable lessons the JR has taught me is that we must learn to roll with punches. So…

If you didn’t know, the JOIDES Resolution takes her name from the HMS Resolution. The HMS Resolution was a sloop in the British Royal Navy and the ship which Captain James Cook commanded on his second and third voyages. July 13th marks the 237th anniversary of the beginning of her second voyage under his command. But the HMS Resolution carried only 112 people, while the JOIDES Resolution is carrying 126! Okay, we’ll ignore the fact that the JR is more than 4 times the size of her namesake, and we travel in far more comfort and safety than Cook probably could have imagined.

The important point to note is that both ships were on missions of exploration, and were filled with volunteers willing to travel great lengths to forward the cause of scientific understanding.  Another more meaningful difference is that Cook’s second voyage took him to the Antarctic, while ours takes us to the Bering Sea. It is difficult to say what information this trip may yield, but it promises to be great, and will fill a void in our current understanding of global climate change.
So what have you been up to, you might ask?
Over the past few days the scientists on board the JR have continued preparing their sampling plans. Think of it as a trip to the store with 30 or so shoppers, purchasing goods for one home. You don’t want everyone to pile up in aisle three looking for toothpaste. We need to share resources, effort and eventually results.
We’ve also been prepping for some of the data collection. I’ve helped clean up cut syringes, prepare rhizones for pore water sampling and various other tasks that are all intended to make things run smoothly when we first have cores to look at.
I’ve also been learning the ins and outs of the video conferencing abilities of the JR. I should be able to contact my classes back in Austell, Georgia in a few weeks. I look forward to telling them what I am up to, and letting them know I expect them to do some serious work while I am gone! Well, I guess that’s enough for now. I’ll be back soon with more. We should hit our first drilling site some time around 6:00pm local time tomorrow, July 16th. And then the fun really begins. Talk to you soon!


We are watching!

Hello, Doug.

It's Heather - one of the SOR folks. It's been great following your blog. I'll continue to watch your adventure from away!
H. Renyck

Hey Heather!

Glad you are joining my virtually. I am trying to stay on top of updates as big events happen around here. It is tough to do, and still be a part of it all. If I spend an hour or two writing and editing blog stuff, that's time I am missing what the lab folks are up to. I think the next Teacher at Sea should have a wireless connected notepad! ;) I'd ask for one for me, but the shipping prices are outrageous here.

Hey Doug! I am excited that

Hey Doug! I am excited that you are getting to be a part of this! I will definitely keep checking out what's happening! Have a great time and be careful out there in the deep blue sea. I love ya, Man!!! Mary


I am very careful. This ship is 4 or 5 years accident free, so I don't want to be the one to break their streak! Love you too.

Down Time

So, have you managed to put yet another band together (this time, at sea)?

Good luck, we're all watching with pride and jealousy!


A Band?

One of the sedimentologists our here with us is a concert quality cellist. Check out a pic of here I found (Mea Cook, she's on the far right):<
But of course a cello doesn't count as a carry on, so she didn't bring one. Drum kits are also difficult to pack. If I can manage to get a band out of this though, it'll be called the "Squeeze Cakes". I can explain that later if you remind me.


I've been catching up on your blogs this morning. Sounds like an awesome trip. Can't wait to read more once the drilling begins. Have fun and good luck today.
Take care & lots of love,


Good to hear from you. Read them all, including the ones posted by the scientists (I've bribed them to write for me!), and post questions! We love having things to respond to, and it will give us direction for future blog topics.

History & Science Good

Cool update. I am eager to actually hear more about the whole drilling process and how it works / goes.

-Sean H.


Since that is the bread and butter of this expedition, I too am excited. I think I'll go to sleep early and plan to wake up when it starts, depending on what the Captains estimates are like later today. These drillers are pros, and they make this work look easy, but they've been prepping all along the transit, moving pipe, stacking and prepping. They make incredible use of the relatively small space they have to operate in here.

Sounds like you are having a

Sounds like you are having a great time. I look forward to reading about your experiences over the next weeks. Good luck and I will seeyiu when you return.

Johnny McCord

Great Time

Is indeed a great time. If somewhat busy, and demanding as far as time changes. And we haven't gotten any core yet... that starts soon though, and then things get really fun!

Sail on my friend. I am

Sail on my friend. I am missing being on board. btw. Did you find a headlamp in your bunk over the light?

Hurd Finnegan

Headlamp Update

I scoured the room, but alas, no headlamp.

For those who don't know, Hurd was on the last transit (321T) and he was in the stateroom I now use.


I did not. Doesn't mean it wasn't there though. I'll take a look. :)

I too have found the space above the light to be an excellent storage area. That is where my cell phone recharges each night. And no, I can't make and receive calls. I use it for the alarm clock, and to track the various time zones we have been passing through, so I have some idea when folks in the States are awake. Thinking about video conferencing now... my school day is from 8:25am-3:25pm EST. So, that means I'll have to contact them from 01:25-08:25 here, until we travel further... My 12 hour work shift is from 06:00-18:00. I sense a problem. :)

Well as my father used to

Well as my father used to say we can sleep when we're dead. Good luck on the conference. I may be in touch before ya'll make port again. When will that be anyway?



We should arrive in Japan on September 4. Hope to hear from you again.

Shedding Light

A headlamp would be a good addition to the packing list, I would imagine they would be nice to have if you were on the 1800-0600 shift?

Will you offer some general conferencing so other schools or home school kids would be able to connect? General public? And can you choose different topics depending on the audience? I rather enjoyed the historical information and I think most of us are curious about the actual drilling process. Not that analyzing mud isn't cool too... ;)



I actually brought a head lamp. But you really don't need them except in emergencies, assuming the lights go off, and the emergency powered back up goes off... so not very likely. It is actually difficult in some staterooms to find the sliver of darkness you can sleep in. But still a good idea to have the light.

I would love to offer some other opportunities for anyone willing to connect with the JR, but it is mainly a matter of facilities to host the conference. There is the bandwidth concern here. We have all non-essential internet traffic run through a 512 line. And that's shared by lots of people. If you or anyone else is interested, please let me know and we can talk specifics.

Different topics are also an option, and I'll be talking with the drillers as well, and posting some pics (hopefully video) of that soon. The area that I spend my time in in primarily habitated by scientists, so my focus may seem limited. My access isn't though, so I'll work something out soon! Thanks for the comments.