Sunday, October 6, 2013


Blogs - like cruises - come to an end, and this will be the last entry. The scientists' cabins have been emptied, the decks cleared, and the samples shipped home. The science party has left the Revelle in Manila, and the techs and crew have prepped the vessel for the next journey to Taiwan and then on to Sri Lanka. Yair and I extend our thanks to each of the officers, crew and techs who collectively made this a very successful and rewarding cruise. ..... Before wrapping up I want also to acknowledge the behind-the-scenes help of James Gibson in making this blog possible. He's a grad student in the Dept. of Earth + Environmental Sciences at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University. He generously donated his time and experience assembling the pieces that made this blog function. He and I had a lot of back-and-forths in the early days of the cruise when he silently patched things together to keep our text and pictures readable. Thank you James! ..... To provide a quick summary of what we did and where we did it, here's a map of our core locations and seismic grids. We landed 54 cores (piston, trigger, gravity, Kasten and multi-cores) totaling 225 m in length. We collected and processed (edit-stack-display) twenty-nine 48-channel MCS lines totaling 449 km. One from near the Papua New Guinea margin is shown below. We also gathered 2 plankton tows and 8 CTD measurements with water sampling to 1500 m depths. Continuous swath bathymetry and sub-bottom echo sounding was recorded for the entire cruise.
For a final look at life aboard RR1313 here are a few of the pictures taken by members of our science party. Each was donated to a picture pool to provide all our followers a chance to see some of what makes up the daily routine of a research cruise like this. We hope you enjoy seeing them as much as we did living them. ..... Many wonder what the food is like at sea. All agree it's surprisingly good, though crispy salads become a longing memory about 3 weeks into any voyage. Pics 1-2 (look for numbers at lower left of each) show you at least where we ate. Pics 3-6 show various ways of relaxing. We had the special event of crossing the equator as pics 7+8 show. King Neptune made an appearance (pic 9) to initiate all Pollywogs into the realm of Shellbacks. None were exempted from this ritual, including CoChief Scientists (pic 10) who have (regrettably) spent their careers up to this point at high latitudes. A cleansing bath in equatorial water (pic 11) completed the initiation. Back to serious work, we took a core immediately after the crossing (pic 12) and the subsequent steps of core preparation and analysis from scanning to storage are shown in pics 13-21. The more delicate technique of 'multi-coring' is designed to capture the fragile seafloor-seawater interface (pic 22). Sampling water captured from various depths during CTD casts was another activity (pic 23). Waiting for cores to be lowered and raised back to the deck was done in good weather and poor (pics 24,25). Heavy weather (pic 26) meant no work got done, but that was a very rare event. Launching the MCS gear called for mild weather (pics 27, 28). While surveying, a watchful eye was kept out for any interference with marine mammal activity (pic 29). Fortunately for all we had only one intersection with marine mammals and it required only a 15-minute cessation of seismic acquisition. The end of the cruise brought us to the Philippine islands and the very active Mayan volcano (pic 30), wonderful sunsets (pic 31) and our arrival in Manila Harbor (pic 32). Everything was packed and cleaned and all we had to do was wait to clear customs (pic 33). The refrigerated van holding all of our cores was lifted to a truck, we said our good-byes, and left for the airport and home. ................................................................................. Farewell from the science party of R/V Roger Revelle cruise 1313 (pic 35). --- Greg Mountain