Thursday, September 5, 2013

Setting Up

Three days until the rest of the science party comes aboard, and we're getting equipment ready.

A new computer-based controller was recently installed 
on Revelle to manage deploying and recovering the CTD 
(Conductivity-Temperature-Depth) instrument that 
measures in-situ seawater properties and brings 
samples of seawater back to the surface.   Crew members 
operate the controls and we've hove-to a few times for all 
to get familiar with this operation before we 'go live' a few 
days from now.  This picture shows the 'hand's off' 
over-the-side position of the CTD crane and the wire 
descending 1500 m into the abyss.

Hundreds of meters of sediment cores will be taken during 
the cruise and pre-labeling liners and assembling hardware 
that makes up the various types of coring devices we'll use 
has begun.  Here Angel Mojarro rivets a core cutter/catcher 
assembly on the bottom of a core liner, under the watchful 
eyes of Coring Techs Paul Walczak and Chris Holm.  Kim 
Baldwin's turn is next.

A string of hydrophones will be towed behind the ship to 
record subseafloor echoes during the seismic collection 
phase of the cruise.  Towing depth will be carefully maintained 
at 2 m below the sea surface by bright orange mechanical 'birds' 
attached to the hydrophones, and whose 'wings' can be controlled 
from the ship.  Here Seismic Techs Lee Ellett and Jay Turnbull are 
training Kim Baldwin in the workings of these devices and guiding
her pre-programming instructions for the birds to follow during the 
first seismic deployment not long from now.

Meanwhile, steady 20-25 knot SE Trade Winds push and roll us along towards our rendezvous off Alotau, Papua New Guinea.  ----- Greg Mountain