Stormy weather

I woke this morning to the rocking and creaking of the ship which told me that the weather had again changed and that we were now experiencing rough sea conditions. The last time this happened was several weeks ago when we had to abandon drilling at Site U1432. Sure enough when I got to work I learned that the worsening conditions had resulted in our decision to stop operations here little bit earlier than we had initially intended and to pack up and head off towards the north for our final drilling site close to the Chinese continental margin. Effectively unfinished business from a few weeks ago. We are now expecting this stormy weather front to blast through the South China Sea for the next day or so but during this is time we will be mostly underway. Since we are in more than 4000 m of water simply recovering all the drilling pipe is a nontrivial undertaking and itself takes up around 12 hours of time so today we have been writing up reports and waiting for the drillers to retrieve the pipe so that we can be on our way. It was possible at least to go outside and look at the clouds racing across the sky and although it hardly counts as a storm compared to some the white caps of the waves and the long swells were testimony to the strength of the wind blowing in from the North Pacific. Hopefully this whole episode will be finished soon and we can resume our coring operations to look at the oldest crust near the continent-ocean boundary in the near future.

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