December 20, 2006
The activity on board is still limited due to seasickness of several scientists and even some of the crew. Patches, frequent deck breaks, and occasional snoozing seem to be the order of the day. Some of the more veteran technicians are busy preparing equipment for the first site. Four-inch pvc pipe, used to line the coring tool and collect the sample, are being marked of with depth markings and sample numbers. When they are recovered these marks will be used to guide where the tubes will be cut for distribution to the separate science teams. Two of the coring tools simply resemble a torpedo. After assembly (placement of the pvc pipe mentioned above) these are dropped over the side of the ship suspended from a cable that remains attached. The cable is let out until the tool reaches the bottom of the ocean (could take several hours) and collects a sample by punching into the bottom sediment. The tool is then retrieved to the ship. Other tools used include a device to collect water samples and other to collect multiple shallow sediment samples at the interface between the ocean water and sediment.