July 2, 2006
We retarded our clocks an hour before going to bed last night. We will be crossing a total of 6 time zones this trip. We made our 12-hour pumping stop today. The crew seemed to have mixed feelings about this. At 8:30 am the engines were stopped. The high volume air filters were turned off to prevent contamination. It was a beautiful clear day and the sea is like glass. It was a perfect day to work on deck.
We set up the wet lab equipment on the rear deck. The hose was put over board to pump ocean water from a depth of 5 meters. We were unable to get the pump to supply a steady flow of water through the GF/F and puffs. David, who was working with this equipment for the first time was not very happy with the design or when he learn there were no spares on board. At around 10:30 am Dave and Armando managed to back prime the pump and get the water flowing, but flow rate was too weak. Also, when we checked the GF/F it had a hole in it from the water pressure. Eric is barely hanging in there. Between his seasickness and the smell of the waste fuel oil nearby he looked ready to pass out.
With the engines turned off, I accompanied Dave to the crow's nest, 60 feet above the bow. I was able to see close up, the radar collecting units and the foghorn. The view from the crow's nest was spectacular, but I would hate to be there when the ship was moving.
We were in a high-pressure system and the weather was perfect. I will always remember spending Sunday, July 2, 2006 in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. Our pumping stop was made 1500 miles from Rhode Island. Initially the crew was skeptical about the science research we were doing but later any crewmember that was not on watch, helped to get the equipment running. The pumping equipment had to be constantly monitored on deck. We moved the hammock and 2 deck chairs outside. We also set up improvised fishing lines using frozen shrimps as bait. It was fun seeing the crew relax with us. Mike allowed us to bring our lunch outside. It was a day to remember.
The flow rate was not strong enough to get acceptable data. We tried twice more to get the pump working without success. Finally at 4:30 pm we called it a day. We set sail at 5:00 pm. Everyone seemed exhausted from the frustration of not being able to get the equipment to work. It took a long time to bring all the equipment back in and set it up in the wet lab. It was an early night for all.