Sunday, March 7, 2010

Transit to Hobart

We are having a very smooth transit, very unusual actually: the seas are flat. We are now approaching the coast of Tasmania, but unfortunately it is foggy. Still, it is nice and warm now outside, so I spent some more time on deck today. The ropes are already out: we will arrive in Hobart tomorrow morning, one day early. It was a successful cruise in many aspects: from a personal perspective and from a scientific perspective.
So what will happen now? In a couple of months time we will get together again at the IODP core repository in College Station, Texas to sample the cores for laboratory analyses. This will mark the second phase of the project and it will be exciting as well, but in a different way.
So that is it for now: I hope you enjoyed the ride!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Dropping a free-fall funnel, logging and leaving

The last couple of days were busy and eventful. Even out here in further from Antarctica, icebergs were approaching the ship and at one point we had to pull out of the hole and get out of the way. Luckily we were able to drop a free-fall funnel, which is a several meters wide fennel that can be assembled to fit around the drill string and drop to the sea floor through more than 3 km of water. When we got back on site we were able to find the funnel and get back into the hole. We were able to watch the reentry into the hole on the monitors in the labs: amazing thing to see them trying to put a 3km pipe long into a 30 cm hole, imagine that.

Logging was successful and after that we got a couple more cores. And then around 11 AM this morning the last core came on deck. After getting all the more than 3 km of pipe back on board we are leaving Antarctic as we speak. It is time: we have ran out of napkins (toilet paper, neatly folded up is used instead) and we are craving for some fruit and crisp salad!