Treasures from the Deep
00 deg 19.3'N
Longitude: 91 deg 37.6W
Wind Direction: W
Wind Speed: 9 Knots
Sea State 3
Swell(s) Height: 2 Foot
Sea Temperature: 71°F (21.9°C)
Barometric Pressure: 1015.0 MB
Visibility: 11 Nautical Miles
Eggs and potatoes
Bacon, ham and sausage
(Dried cereal is always available in the pantry)
OJ in a bucket
Grilled ham and cheese sandwiches
Tapioca pudding with strawberries
September 1 , 2001
by Christina Reed
Weve got rocks! Gene Pillard yells out, as we watch the dredge
emerge from the ocean.
In the pre-dawn darkness this morning, west
of Roca Redonda, we sent the dredge on a 3,000-meter journey
to the bottom of the Pacific.
sonar pinger, attached 200 meters above the dredge on the same
wire cable, tells us how far we are above the seafloor. The
dredge is dragged up hill for 500 to 700 meters so that the
rocks it catches with its metal teeth fall into the chain-link
bag behind it.
By 8 a.m., with the equatorial sun casting
long shadows across the deck, we reel the dredge back on board.
Gene Pillard is careful to make sure the operation goes smoothly
and safely. Once the dredge is laid on the stern and secured,
the wire cable that towed the mouth of the dredge uphill is re-attached
to the back of the bag. The whole kit and caboodle is then turned
upside down. We shake the glistening black rocks loose, like
stuck candy from a piñata.
Working quickly as a team, students and professors
gather the rocks and clear the deck. Rhian Waller and Kate Buckman
collect any marine animals we find. Everything needs to be catalogued
and sorted. Over the next two weeks we hope to fill hundreds
of buckets with rocks. Each rock we catch will help us in our
mission to understand volcanism in the Galápagos Islands.
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