Holes in the Ship — For Ms. Sutton’s Class

Hello from the JR science team and crew to Ms. Sutton and her students in Beaufort!  We’re nearing the end of our two-month expedition and we’re headed home — or at least to Honolulu.  The last time we saw land was on the 10th of March and almost everyone is ready to get off the ship.

It is hard for me to think of leaving though, as the weather is fine and the wind and waves are with us.  I love to sit at my desk or on deck and feel the rocking of the ship around me, then to flop in bed after a long day’s work and have the waves sing me to sleep.  But sometimes, when we’re on station and drilling, neither the days or the nights are quiet enough to hear the waves over the roar of the thrusters  pushing hard against the currents and wind to keep the ship and drill string right on top of the hole we’re drilling.  Which brings me to one of your questions… and the answer from Captain Alex.  And just for fun, I’ve thrown in some photos of flying fish from my friend Jerry Bode, our curator.

Happy sailing,


Question:  How does the water not go through the boat where the hole is?

Answer:  The water does go through the hole. In fact it goes through all 11 holes. The JOIDES Resolution has 11 holes all the way through the hull from the top to the bottom. Five of them are where the thruster pods are lowered through the hull. Five are for the hydrophones (underwater listening devices) which are lowered through the hull, and the last one is the large hole in the middle called the moon pool (see photo, above) where all the drilling and coring equipment gets lowered through all the way to the sea floor.  All of these “holes” with the exception of the moon pool are called wells (thruster pod well, hydrophone well) because they resemble a watering well on land.

Just for fun:  Flying fish on the bow!


Photo:  The moon pool is seven meters across.  Credit:  Kelly Vondrehle, IODP Publications Specialist.

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JOIDES Resolution