Last night the lines were tossed and JR is now on the way to our first site. Sailing in darkness, we left the port of Puntarenas after an extra day in port.
Everyone took advantage of the opportunity to enjoy the town one more day. I took a walk around the peninsula, one side with a sandy beach lined by empty restaurants, small hotels and three pairs of policemen, while on the more working side, we saw a guy peeing in the street! After lunch on the ship, I just had to touch the water, so I walked back down the pier and saw these funny looking birds. What are they? The late departure meant another evening of socializing and getting to know each other. Lots of seafood (the ceviche is amazing!) and local drinks. I think the team is feeling more cohesive and ready to work as soon as we get on station.
With the rocking of the ship, I finally slept well. I woke this morning to this beautiful sunrise.
The delay was due the late arrival of the equipment that is needed for the first leg of the cruise. We are using a technique that is called Logging While Drilling. This is a set of new tools that will help the scientists understand what to expect when we start drilling for core. Ok. So the cruise plan is to drill 2 holes at 2 different sites. The first set of holes (one at each site) will be Logging While Drilling (LWD). This means that there is a drill followed by equipment that measure different properties of the rocks. We will not be collecting any rock core with LWD, just lots of information about how the rocks change with depth. Once the LWD is done, we will make the short 9 hour transit back to port to unload the equipment and then back to the first site to begin drilling where we will recover the rock core (more details later).
Everything that comes on and off the ship must go through customs. That means all people and equipment coming into Costa Rica (arrival by plane) and leaving Costa Rica (returning to port from sea) must go through customs. The radio operator has all of our passports. The LWD equipment traveled in 3 containers, but one got lost then found and finally delivered. The challenges of the logistics, and working with customs would be too much for me. Thank goodness for the patience and experience of the operations team to get the equipment here with all the hitches that were encountered. Now they are submitting the paperwork to bring the LWD equipment back in 5 days when we are done drilling those 2 holes.