After 3 days of transit, we arrived on our first site of coring last night!
To drill successfully, the ship has to keep its position very accurately. But how will it be able to remain at the same position, in the middle of nowhere, during the 45 days of drilling?
For that, you can trust the 12 thrusters of the boat!
Thrusters are relatively small propulsive devices which are used by the ship to keep it in the good position. Two thrusters are inserted in the stern. The rest of them is lowered when the ship reaches its position.
This picture was taken from the deck this morning and it is showing the descent of one of the thruster.
But how does it work?
By GPS of course! The ship has two receivers that allow to the Joides to stay in place with an accuracy of about 4 meters! The activity of the thrusters is fully automatic!
There is also a second system, used in parallel, and hepful when the weather is bad or when the satellite reception is low. A sound source is lowered to the sea floor. The sound produced by that device is received by several hydrophones inserted in the bottomof the ship. A computer uses the beeper of this beacon to determine the position of the ship and the thrusters are automatically regulated, achieving an accuracy of 3 meters.
BUT, one thing that the thrusters can’t do is eliminate the heave, which is a really bad news for Naomi! In fact, those with weaker stomachs on board might suffer until the end of the drilling. Good luck to them!