Its More Than Just Numbers
01 deg 36'S
Longitude: 90 deg 36 W
Wind Direction: SSE
Wind Speed: 11 Knots
Sea State 3
Swell(s) Height: 2-4 Foot
Sea Temperature: 68°F (20°C)
Barometric Pressure: 1013.9 MB
Visibility: 12 Nautical Miles
Eggs and potatoes
Bacon, ham and sausage
(Dried cereal is always available in the pantry)
OJ in a bucket
Macaroni, cheese and jalapenós
September 19, 2001
by Christina Reed
An oceanographic expedition usually accomplishes many objectives.
This one has been no exception. In gathering our sonar and
submarine lava sample data over the past month, we have counted
on the RV Revelle, its crew and the technical personnel
on board. They have all done a top-notch job which has been
key to our success.
We thought wed give you an idea of how much it takes to
do this kind of research by highlighting some of the major
milestones. Since we left Costa Rica on Aug. 23rd we have traveled
4,706 kilometers or 2,541 nautical miles. By the time we get
back to Puntarenas on Sept. 24th we will have traveled over
6,200 kilometers, more than 3300 nautical miles.
So far we have used 57,096 gallons of fuel.
Weve been conserving
fuel using only about 2,100 gallons a day on this expedition, normally we use
about 3,500 gallons a day says First Mate Eric Wakeman. We use more fresh
water: about 2,500 gallons a day.
In total we have spent nearly 16 days stopped
on station dredging or towing the camera, and about 6 days surveying
with the MR1 sonar and multibeam sonar systems. The remaining
time has been spent transiting from Costa Rica to the Galápagos
and between our various survey areas.
The trawl wire has gone up and down like a
yo-yo more than 70 times with the dredge attached on the end.
The longest length of steel wire we paid out in one dredge was
3,789 meters - about the distance of 38 football fields lined
up end to end. The greatest amount of tension we recorded, 19,000
pounds, nearly broke the main pin holding the dredge in place.
If it had broken, the safety chain would have brought the dredge
We cataloged all the rocks and biology, entered
the data into spreadsheets, photographed all the samples, and
stored them in buckets. One hundred and twenty 5-gallon buckets
and 35 sacks of seafloor lava have been carted off of the fantail
and into the shipping container. It will be used to transport
more than 6,000 pounds of rocks and 2,000 pounds of equipment
back to Woods Hole.
Tonight Todd Ericksen and Steve Totottori put
the MR1 sonar fish to bed, tucking it under a tarp. Since we
began our work around Genovesa Island on Aug. 26th, we have surveyed
1,500 kilometers of the Galápagos seafloor using the
MR1 sidescan and multibeam sonar systems - almost the same distance we will travel
on our return to Costa Rica. The total area surveyed with these sonar systems
is greater than the area of the State of New Hampshire.
But more than the numbers is the sense that
we have all worked hard together to carry out this successful
research program. Tonight is the last night of dredging. Tomorrow
we head back to Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz Island to drop off
our observers, Francisco and Jules, and pay a last visit to the
tortoises, sea lions, and iguanas of these Enchanted Islands.
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