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Daily Updates: August 2001
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 Daily Updates: September 2001
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partlycloudy weather

Partly Cloudy
69°F (20.6°C)
Latitude: 00 deg 54'S
Longitude: 91 deg 41’W
Wind Direction: SE
Wind Speed: 22 Knots
Sea State 4
Swell(s) Height: 4-6 Foot
Sea Temperature: 59°F (15°C)
Barometric Pressure: 1013.0 MB
Visibility: 12 Nautical Miles

what's to eat today?

Fresh fruits
Apple coffeecake
Eggs and potatoes
Bacon, ham and sausage
(Dried cereal is always available in the pantry)
OJ in a bucket

Fresh salad
Turkey, ham, roastbeef and cheese sandwiches
Chili and rice
Curly fries

Fresh salad
Roast Pork
Mashed potatoes
Peas and carrots
Orange Roughy fish
Cherry cobbler

Dredge Dentist


September 13, 2001
by Christina Reed

For the past two weeks we have dredged, dragged, hefted and hoisted lava from the seafloor around Fernandina and Isabela. Lovely, black, shiny rocks, glittering with green-yellow and white crystals: olivine and plagioclase - the most common minerals in the ocean crust. Some of the lava flows have a glassy surface. Others are bulbous blobs molded into shapes showing how the magma moved as it erupted from the seafloor.

We’ve pulled them from the dredge, whacked them with hammers, chipped them to little bits, and sawed them in thick slabs and tucked them away in bags and buckets.

We are thriving amongst rocks. We are in a word: rupicolous. (Pronounced: roo-pick-o-lus.) No kidding... that's a real word and it fits us perfectly out here on RV Revelle.

Every four to five hours, even at night, the dredge comes up from the seafloor filled with treasures. Mostly, we find rock treasures. But sometimes, especially in the shallower areas, we get animals, too. Rhian Waller and Kate Buckman, our resident biologists, are thrilled with some of our catches.

We have three different species of brittle stars and nine individuals, two sea stars and a fan worm, which lives specifically on rocks. We also have some non-rock thriving animals.

“We have jelly balls!” Rhian says. “I've only seen them in pictures before.” Tiny little balls of jelly, they are really small animals called ctenophores, which are related to the jellyfish and swim in the ocean currents. “You can tell each species by the pattern of bioluminescence they show.”

Today we pulled up 12 giant, thick-skinned anemones called Phelliactis robusta. It’s a cosmopolitan anemone found in both the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans that lives in the sediment. “Kate was over the moon when she saw them,” Rhian says. She and Kate are careful to preserve and catalogue our biological critters so they can be carefully studied back at the lab.

In a couple of weeks, our rocks will find new homes amongst the collections of various scientists. The largest samples of pillow basalts will help provide material for many researchers to come, so they can be rupicolous, too!




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