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Journals 2005/2006

Susan Holt
Arcadia High School, Phoenix, Arizona

"Investigating Indonesian Tsunami"
M/V Performer
May 9-26
Journal Index:
May 8 - 9 - 10 - 11 - 12 - 13 - 14 - 15

      16 - 17 - 18 - 19 - 20 - 21 - 22 - 23

May 12, 2005

When I went to report for my shift, Don Fisher was showing his model that he had built of faults that you see in an accretionary prism. Basically, it is a box with slits on the right and left sides that allow a sheet of wax paper to be pulled through. On top is a layer of sand, followed by a layer of colored grout, and then another layer of sand. As he pulled the wax paper out of the bottom, it caused the layers to stack on top of each other. An accretionary prism forms when two plates collide and one slides under the other. The sediment that is on the plate going under the other piles up, like a snow shovel against snow on a sidewalk.

Don Fisher's model being demonstrated for Vicki Young of the film crew in the barn.Testing the ROV in the moon pool.

We are currently around latitude and longitude of about 4°N and 93°E Today, the scientists tested the ROV in what is called a moon pool on the back deck. A large metal grate is underneath, which reduces the swells that come into the pool as the ship moves. The ROV is supported on a large steel floor that is removed when everyone is ready to launch. A huge winch on the back of the boat is used to raise and lower the ROV through the moon pool and beneath the ship. The gate was left over the moon pool as the ROV was lowered and submersed underwater in the pool. The scientists then went through a series of tests to make sure the four cameras, the arms with the claws, lights and thrusters worked. They then brought it back up and continued throughout the night to make adjustments, such as moving the lights and checking hydraulic fluids.

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Chief's Mate, Bill Innes, being filmed during the launch of the HUNTEC. He is using a headset and microphone to communicate with the bridge. Innes has just been promoted to a Captain's position on the next rotation on May 29th.Josh Talbot (Sound) and Matt Green (Camera) filming the test of the ROV. Matt scared me by standing on the very edge of the moon pool and climbing on the beams to get camera shots.
Borden Chapman maintaining the loud air compressors (the blue equipment on the right), while Ken Guthjahar (behind Borden) works on the huge winch, which raises and lowers the ROV through the moon pool.Gerry Galvan maintaining the air compressors.

This afternoon, the HUNTEC was launched to gather more seismic data. While we were moving and the airguns were in, the HUNTEC was swung up and over the back. The sky was still overcast and the waves made it difficult to put the HUNTEC in the water, but they got it in. We then made a big 180° turn to start what is called a second line, which means the line from one point to another until a course adjustment is made. While I worked from noon to midnight, I gathered data as I did yesterday and stood watch over the generator again. The camera crew was filming many different aspects of the boat and filmed the incredibly loud generators. Matt Green, the camera man, asked me if I had been naughty and it took me a minute to figure out that he was talking about being assigned to such loud, dirty, and unexciting work. There is a great sense of humor on board, and everyone seems happy to be here. The scientists are excited with the accomplishments so far, while the crew of the Performer are very accommodating and interested in the research. This is most often used for recovery work.

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Camera crew filming the deployment of the HUNTEC. Borden Chapman in the red jumpsuit directs, while Steffen Saustrup, Russell Keltner, and Dewey Brandon, from left to right, struggle to hold the HUNTEC steady.Me, Dewey Brandon (Crane Operator on M/V Performer) and Stephan Grilli. Russell Keltner offered to take the picture and I realized I hadn't been included in one yet!