August 7, 2007
At 8:00 am we arrived at the site for core #5 and did a drift test. We started away from the site to see how long and how far we would drift to help our target aim for the core. Angelo explained that some of the newer ships actually have propellers on all four parts of the boat to keep it in one position, which is accomplished with GPS coordinates and satellites. Amazing! Unfortunately, we did not have this luxury and have to account for the drift factor. The wind was very minimal and the seas were somewhat calm and the sun actually peeked out for a while! Core #5 was located southeast of cores 1 and 3 at 75.10946°N and 15.22076°E. The depth was 751 m at touchdown. During the retrieval of the core, it was apparent that the hydraulics on one of the parts of the supports for the corer was not operating. They discovered that the continuous pressure exerted on it from the touchdown of the corer each time on the sea floor had bent the rod in the system. They were able to bring up the sample and precariously collect it as it was not able to be brought on board mechanically. Fortunately the sample collected was 6.32 m, which was very successful! The downside was that the rod of the hydraulic system cannot be replaced during the cruise and this shut down the coring operations. Angelo had proposed to collect a total of 10 cores and we only recovered 5. Angelo had a great attitude about the whole thing and said at least it did not happen after the first one! I was impressed by his outlook and knew he must have been somewhat disappointed not to collect all of the 10 cores. What a leader!
After the core area on the ship was cleaned, the film crew got a ride in a Zodiac boat to take pictures of the ship from sea. This was a neat process to watch the naval crew put the zodiac into the water with the crane and then get into and out of it with the rope ladder. We all stood out on deck and took pictures and enjoyed the relatively warm day.
This evening we had another birthday (cumpleaños) party - this time for Roger. There are a lot of Leos on board! We had a fabulous chocolate cake. I got to experience some of the Spanish dancing afterwards, too! It was a lot of fun to enjoy some down time with everyone. Halfway through the trip!