06/13/04 - Rough seas, but still fun
|Lat:||31° 49.2 min N|
|Long:||77° 36.7 min W|
The seas were a bit rough this morning, but we were excited to have Photographer and Videographer Art Howard from NAPRO Communications in the bow and Andrea Quattrini from UNCW in the stern for the morning dive. They explored an area approximately 2,300 feet (701 m) deep that had many ridges and captured some good images. They brought back several crab specimens and a piece of coral with small, pinkish-orange organisms we have not been able to identify yet. This is one of the times we wish that we had access to the web and a big library of resources! The only books we have are the ones we bring with us, and sometimes it is hard to anticipate all the creatures we will come across during the trip!
addition to some serious scientific sampling, Andrea and Art conducted
a fun physics experiment. The crew decorated several Styrofoam
cups using magic markers and attached
them to the exterior of the sub. When the cups are exposed
to the great pressure of water deep in the ocean, they shrink
since the tiny air pockets within the Styrofoam are crushed at
that depth. When the sub returned to the surface all of the cups
were less than half of their
The seas kicked up while the submersible was down, so the afternoon dive was canceled. The swells increased and the wind grew so water kept washing over the stern and along the starboard side of the ship. Luckily we had secured all our gear with lines (ropes used on boats) and bungee cords before the seas rose so the buckets, baskets, nets, coolers, and other containers on deck could not wash over the side of the ship. We decided to steam to our next research site off the coast of North Carolina in search of better weather.
Most of the science team stayed on the 2nd deck and watched the water wash across the lower deck, but Art Howard donned a life jacket and videotaped the excitement from the stern. Jeremy Potter of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) also put on a life jacket and stood nearby acting as a "spotter" in case Art should slip. Safety at sea is a top priority and we try to look out for each other.
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