The water has been so calm lately. A few little ripples and once in a while a wave that sorta moves the boat gently. Gary J. Huftile, a structural geologist from University of Technology Queensland, Australia, started telling me how the Pacific got his name. One of our scientists aboard the JR talks about how the Pacific got its name http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZNj0z4nwmWQ I didn’t know this story. My family and I always joke that it is the specific ocean but I don’t know where that came from.
It is the quiet before the storm. This does not refer to the weather, but to the amount of work we are all waiting for. This first week has been a time of learning, getting to know each other and the ship, and drilling that only a handful of scientists were intimately involved with. I’ve been doing broadcasts into classrooms but the labs have been so quiet. Tomorrow we anticipate that that we will begin recovery of rock core. And not just some rock, but a 9.5 m cylinder every 20 minutes. That is very fast from what I hear. We will be drilling in shallow water (120 m) so it takes very little time to get the core on deck from the seafloor. I’m excited to see the whole process and get involved.
Today we are returning the logging instruments that we have used the last week. Back to port. Puntarenas, Costa Rica. The ship is much quieter than it has been. The thrusters are off (picture of it pulled up in transit height). The drill is off. We are waiting for the tugs to escort us in.