The Middle of the Cruise

Today was a milestone for several reasons.  Not only is it the middle of the cruise time wise, it is also the middle of the cruise drilling wise.  We just finished the second of three holes at the third of a 5-site leg.

The cruise is going exceptionally well with no wars amongst the people breaking out (yet), the weather has remained nice, if a bit warmer, and today we had the first indication that there is another world out there as our first ship passed us this afternoon.  The uniqueness of the ship was enough to empty the Core Lab so people could look at an indistinct blob on the horizon. While it was indistinct, one could see that there was a vertical aspect to it that broke up the flatness of the horizon, which in itself was exciting.  As you can tell, it doesn’t take much to entertain people out here.

Flying Fish on Vacation

Until today the only life we have seen was a couple of birds and lots of flying fish along with a few Mahi Mahi who were dining on them.  The flying fish that we have been seeing are in desperate need of growth hormones as they are small, not much larger than about 3 or, if I push it, 4 inches.  They are much smaller than the ones I have seen in the past in other parts of the oceans.  I did see one respectably sized flying fish, about a foot long, which excited me to no end.  But the excitement didn’t last too long as it quickly became apparent the fish was either lost or on vacation.

But there is other life out and about, which was a surprise to me.  For the first time ever I saw a trail of ants heading up some outside stairs.  Considering this is a steel ship, I can’t imagine where they are living.  I don’t think we want them to get loose as apparently they are of a hardy stock and might make a go of it somewhere else where they wouldn’t be welcome.  I can’t wait to tell the Mates they have an ant problem.

Where are We?

It dawned on me that I haven’t really told you where I am so here are our coordinates, 10º 30.997’N, 138º 25.175’W. Perhaps you and look us up on Google Earth (on At Sea in the menu at the top of the page).  Just don’t zoom in too much otherwise you will only see ocean.  The water depth is a little less than 15,000 feet, which is nice, as they can’t inundate us with cores.  At that depth it takes about an hour just to send the wire line down and bring it back up so this is turning into a leisurely, mid-Pacific cruise.

Sean Who?

The food is actually pretty good once you get used to the menu.  There is great variety and they even cater to vegetarians.  And they make the neatest sculptures using the various things left over from cutting up melons, apples and other fruits.  It’s fun to come to the galley to see what something they have made.  The galley people have started calling me Sean, as they like to see me wince.  They are a bunch of good guys.

I am still thrilled with our showers out here.  Not only do they clean by hydraulic pressure, they have a neat thermostatically controlled setup that allows you to set your own temperature and no matter how the hot water temperature varies coming into the shower, the temperature stays constant.  I can do without the face level spray that it has, but that is a minor thing compared to the other niceties the shower has.   Editor’s (aka Leslie) Note:  Not everyone gets the shower at face level.

Friendship in a Tattoo

To help break the tedium out here a couple of scientists decided today was Temporary Tattoo day and gave everyone a tattoo to put on.  Mine was a Japanese character meaning friendship.  At least that is what I hope it says.  Who knows, maybe I had a late April Fools joke played on me.  Almost everyone had a tattoo somewhere visible.  Perhaps not visible too, but I don’t know about that and I wont ask.  It was a nice break and I’m glad they thought of it and acted on it.

Well, the rock and rolling of the ship and my typing this letter is beginning to have a somewhat negative effect so I will close.  The rest of the cruise will be easier as today is Hump Day (middle of the cruise) and it is all downhill from here. Hoping this finds you in good spirits.

As I get ready to send this I am informed the next site is a day and a half away.  As we will be underway by tomorrow, I need to ask “Where’s the Meclizine?”

Jerry