Yesterday we took care of some slow but necessary business: drills. We completed “fire” and “man overboard” drills yesterday, where we learned what to do when anything bad happens: go to the second deck and wait to possibly jump overboard. Unfortunately, our “muster station” (meeting spot) was right next to the trash compactor which made waiting there quite unpleasant. We didn’t manage to get any stations sampled like we had hoped, but the pinger is calibrated so now we know exactly where the corer is at all times when it’s on the sea floor. We spent the rest of the day taking an inventory of our supplies and figuring out what we need to order for the rest of the cruise.
We managed to get through seven sediment sample stations today which is a new record for us! We started off in 100 meters of water and ended up at nearly 1000 meters. We have really found our stride and the eight-tube multi-corer is working like a champ. There were only two stations where we didn’t get all eight samples and even then we still got seven. We got three stations done before noon and then fueled by a delicious lunch of wantons, egg rolls, fried rice, and snapper we fired out another four. There was a slight distraction caused by dolphins checking out the corer, but we managed to regain our composure and hammer through the day.
We saw several tankers as we traveled further offshore and, of course, the ever-present oil rigs. As we sampled, it was also very interesting to see the sediment change from a soupy mud to the consistency of modeling clay as we got to our last—and deepest—site.
We are continuing our journey offshore and the last station we sample tomorrow should (if all goes accordingly) be at the well head itself.