Today we had a presentation by Kevin Grigar our Superintendent of Operations from IODP to explain the reason why we were up at 3AM to watch the reentry funnel go down. It is part of an assembly of tubing, called casing, that will permanently keep this hole that we have bore into the sea floor open for ever.
We do this for a few reasons. Primarily for this expedition it helps keep the hole stable so that we can drill further down in to the rock formations below which will help answer the primary objective of the expedition. The second reason is to mark this site of high interest for future expeditions.