May 28, 2004
Scientists and Crew,
My name is Alexis and I am one of Miss Shield’s seventh grade students from Lexington, Ma. We were told to email you if we had any questions about oceanographic research, hydrothermal vents, or about what it is like to work on board a ship. Well, here are my questions:
1. Do you feel the waves rocking back and forth when the Alvin is submerged?
2. Does the Alvin rock under the water? Ex. Do people sometimes fall over when trying to move from one part of the Alvin to the other?
Thank you very much for allowing me and my class to email you with our questions,
You only feel the waves rocking back and forth within 5 meters of the water surface. Other than that, Alvin does not rock much at all during a dive.
There isn’t much room to move around, since the space inside the sub is small (about 6 feet in diameter). You can touch almost anywhere in the sub simply by reaching out your arm.
On the surface it can be quite rough, especially in foul weather. The swimmers that help to deploy and recover Alvin have to be careful that they don’t get knocked off the sub by heavy seas.
Gavin Eppard (who has been to the seafloor in Alvin 12 times)
Mechanical technician with the Alvin group
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