Slow but steady progress today on the ship. We are bringing up small volumes of sand that was largely unexpected in such a deep water setting, especially given the earlier results from the southern Chinese continental slope courtesy of ODP Leg 184 — which showed only clays in deep water. Where all this sand is coming from in the first place is another mystery, and there is little agreement on that within the science party, at the present time at least.
What we all want to know is when we will be through the sands and getting higher recovery? Would it help to change coring methods? Many of the scientists have become amateur drilling engineer pundits debating their proposed approaches over cups of coffee and the rather too good selection of buns in the mess hall. Good thing there is a decent gym in the upper tween deck or we would all be getting rather large rather quickly. The real decisions are being made upstairs by our chief scientists and the drillers. We shall see what this hole brings us next. Pictured here from left to right are Tony Koppers, Weiwei Ding, Chen-Feng Li (co-chief), Renata Nagai and Guo-Liang Zhang. Elizabeth Brown in the background.