Follow Dr. Katrina Edwards, as she explores the microbial life at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean

9/22/2011.

WOW! The past two days have been a roller coaster ride. After finally arriving on site, we began operations that included lowering the drill pipe. That went fine. Then we went to lower a camera that would watch and aid our operations at the seafloor – as you might imagine, a very important piece of equipment. That’s when things went south – the drill operators had trouble with the winch that lowers and retrieves this camera. Eventually we had to abandon operations and bring up our camera using the limping winch.

Then the fun begins: trouble-shooting how to fix it. You can’t exactly run to home depot for spare parts when you are out here, you are pretty much on your own. Luckily, the drillers bring lots of spare parts. First they replaced some valves – nada. Then they replaced the motor – nada. Then they started replacing the hydraulic pump. First they found a pump that was slightly damaged, and went at making repairs but then luckily someone found another pump – pump #3, and they successfully replaced it. And it worked! Yay! Only one day lost.

Onward to our next operation, recovering the old CORK from Hole 395A. This went incredibly successfully – we retrieved the old CORK and are preparing the new one for deployment. Of course, we are sampling the heck out of everything we bring up from the deep sea – CORK body, the temperature line that was hanging in the hole – nothing is safe from our samplers!

I include a group photo of our women science participants here today – we have a fairly large party of women here, I’m happy to report – all here to do some awesome science!

And with that, I’m off to watch the “moon pool” operations, which I will talk to you about next time.