Sunset and Beacon Catch – Day 51, 8/24/2009

It’s amazing how after two months on a boat with the same people day in and day out how your nerves start to get a little rattled. Not that we aren’t getting along, it’s just the lack of something new. The slightest hint of something bad or good happening at home and I start to get a little frustrated that I am not there to deal with things. Add a bad video camera into the mix and you might have a really bad mood.

The camera decided to reject the disk that was in it with about 30 minutes worth of video I had shot over the last few days. Needless to say I was a little annoyed.

Luckily the Logging Engineer talked some sense into me and I didn’t see how far I could throw the camera into the ocean. Clay has all sorts of Sony video processing software on his computer, so he took the disk to see what he could salvage. The bad news was that nothing on the disk was recoverable, but the good news was that I was able to reformat it and continue my video diary. Thanks Clay! Mood salvaged!

We had just greeted the arrival of the last core on deck for the expedition, and everyone's spirits were high. My mood had picked up considerably after I realized I could once again take more video clips. So after figuring which files were lost I decided to enjoy the last sunset on site, and depending on the weather, possibly the last visible sunset of our expedition. Turns out I was not alone.


We watched the sun slowly sink in the distance. Partly obscured by clouds, there was no green flash to be seen. But that didn’t stop our enjoyment. The sky flared beautifully as the last of the light faded beneath the blue horizon. It was symbolic of the sun setting on our trip. The days are few before we hit Japan. And then we go our separate ways.



 And to add to the beauty of the evening, the beacon was coming up at the same time. So we were able to watch its recovery. The beacon is a device that emits a high frequency ping to let the JR know where we are as a redundant back up to the GPS system. It is dropped to the ocean floor when we first arrive on site. Before we leave each site the beacon releases the weight it is attached to, and rises to the surface and the talented crane operators and crew recover the beacon so it can be used again. It was a quick and flawless recovery.


Now I need to get some rest and prepare for the transit home. The work here is not done, but we are one step closer.


Marika Rosser 4th block

How can you stay on a boat for 2 months? Does everybody on the boat have their own room?

2 Months

We share rooms with folks who work on opposite shifts. There are bunk beds, so you get either top or bottom bunk. If you can get to YouTube (I know it is blocked from many schools) I posted some videos that show some of the accomodations. The first one was in my stateroom, so you can see where I have been living.<

If you can get to my YouTube channel, you can watch the rest of the videos.

The boat is equipped to stay out for 75 days, so we could stay out longer if we needed to, but we should be back on time due to the need to meet our travel arrangements and be there for our hotel reservations in Japan.

great videos

Hey Doug,

Glad you didn't throw the camera into the sea. This is a great blog. And the Captain's answers about the weather on Facebook were great, too. Keep it coming -- you're the best!


The Best

I may not be the best, but I hear I rank consistently in the top 10. ;)

Stunning sunset!

This is a great picture of the sunset at sea. Thank you for taking it. Hope you mood picks up and stays up. Hang in there.


The Mood

I hope the blog didn't come off as too negative. There are some problems as the cruise wears on, but all in all we are doing well. I think it is the stress of the same faces every day, and the problems of not being able to deal with issues at home. On shore we've had deaths, medical problems, surguries and more. But we have to wait another week or so before we can interact with our homes again.

And the picture was actually from a prior sunset... Since I was shooting video, I didn't have access to my own. That one was taken by Chris Beveridge last week. I admit it. I cheated. :)

Hi Doug - looking forward to when you get home!

We are looking forward to when you get home, and come and tell us what it was like to be out there for so long. The videos have been great - my kids were very interested in life on the boat, and hoped you were having a great adventure. We hope you can get more great videos before you disembark, and also hope you get some great food and a good rest when you get to Japan. How long until you get there? Then what is the schedule for you and the other scientists to go home? What kinds of preparations are being made for heading into port?

Susan M.

Me Too!

I've got lots of extra video footage that I'll share as I get a chance, and I'll try to get more as we finish up here. I am excited to try some actual Japanese food! We should arrive in Japan on the 3rd or 4th of September. But back in the States, that is the 2nd or 3rd.

Our schedule in Japan is basically to wait on ship until we are released by their customs folks. They'll check passports and visas for all passengers. Then we have a crossover party, and meet some of the folks going on the next expedition. I plan on spending the day or two I have there Labor Day weekend to see as much as I can. I have no idea when or if I'll ever go back, so I have to make this trip count!

The scientists are finalizing their reports on the trip right now and finishing last minute work with the cores we recovered. The technicians are assisting in that, and starting the clean up of the labs. The crew are doing extensive cleaning of the drilling equipment and the outside of the labs. They've been washing windows all morning! I suppose the main goal right now is to leave everything here in the condition we found it.