Katie Gonzalez

July 6 & 7, 2019

Well it’s finally happened. I’ve reached the point where I can no longer keep days of 24-hour periods separate in my mind anymore, so this update of mine will cover the most interesting events that occurred over approximately 48 hours. On July 6th, Eve and I helped Mitch with the PPS component of the RAS/PPS, (Remote Access Sampling)/(Particulate DNA Sampler). We removed the filters from the inflow part of the instrument and preserved them in an Eppendorf tube with 20ml of RNAlater. After removing the filter, we poured the remaining liquid from the cap into another Eppendorf tube and saved both tubes for later analysis of the microbiology from near the vents.

Katie Gonzalez tries on Janel Hershey’s novelty seasickness goggles. Credit: K. Gonzalez, University of Washjington;V19

Between the hours of 11pm and 4am of the 6thand 7th, we did a deep and shallow CTD cast. Being in the computer lab and firing the Niskin bottles upon its ascent is always fun because of the conversations had with the company in the lab. An example of the fun had was when Janel brought in her novelty “seasickness curing” goggles. She has been in search of a human test subject for them, as so far, the only people to wear them are not affected by seasickness or were currently taking precautions for it when trying them on. Unfortunately, I couldn’t help as I generally am not affected by seasickness, but I did have a blast wearing them! They felt very nice against my face, and I could see myself wearing them to make a fashion statement at a fun public event or incorporating them into a Halloween costume.

When on deck recovering the CTD rosette, we found three land birds that had been stowaways on the ship for the trip out far from land. One was covered in oil, so Alison, one of the Shipboard Science Support Group members, gave it a wash and some rest in a cooler (ventilated by leaving the lid cracked open a bit). I was able to pet that one with my finger as she held it before releasing them all. As she let them go one took off, one fell overboard, and I don’t know the status of the third. Hopefully at least two of them survived their unplanned journey.

Midday on the 7th I spoke with Webb Pinner about Sealog. I was eager to share my thoughts and questions with him, as I enjoy working with the program and aim to fine tune it to have all the functionality we need and could want from it. Webb taught me a few more features from the interface and now I’m excited to see the improvements we had in mind come to fruition before the next cruise. I had a great time making the last two tutorial videos for Sealog, so I look forward to making an improved tutorial video tutorial that’s as accurate as possible for future students.

After dinner that day I watched Mike’s deep-sea biology presentation for a second time. This time he showed us a video afterwards, it was “True Facts About the Sea Pig”. It was very comical and meant to be a spoof on documentaries about biology as it described the sea pig, a type of sea cucumber. The part I found to be funniest was when the narrator described a defense mechanism used by many sea cucumbers. They expel their respiratory system through their cloaca, and the narrator paralleled this defense to humans by saying “Imagine you are being mugged, so you just fart your lungs out at them”. Humor for biologists can be weird, especially when comparing other animals’ habits and defenses to humans.

July 4, 2019

Well, this July fourth has been an interesting one. After my shift ended at 4am I stayed up to help collect the water samples from the RAS/PPS that was recovered. I had helped prepare the RAS/PPS for transport last year, so I was eager to help collect the samples from it immediately after its recovery. Afterwards I was able to have breakfast again; I usually sleep through breakfast, so this was a reward in itself! The morning cook, Brenden, always makes such good potatoes, waffles, and French toast.

I saw people up to July fourth shenanigans, as they wore expressly American flag colors or outfits made entirely out of the American flag. One of the JASON pilots even had a bald eagle mask that he wore over a jumpsuit in the design of the flag that lit up with red and blue LEDs. After seeing all that hubbub, I caught up on sleep and was ready to go again by 5pm. Upon waking up I was treated to a few card tricks by Keith. I was impressed to see how smoothly he manipulates the cards in his hands.

Cheeser up to his antics on the Atlantis. Credit: K. Gonzalez, University of Washington; V19

Later on, I met Cheeser: Janel’s rat beanie baby. He was given to her as a gift from a friend after graduating college in July of 1998. She takes him to all the cool places she goes, and even sends him off with her friends to visit the cool places they go. She made a Facebook page just for his adventures! I hope to keep in touch with Janel, so that one day I may take Cheeser on one of my adventures. I realized that this July makes Cheeser 21! We will be celebrating his 21stbirthday on July 9th, the day we return to port.

At 10 pm there was a firework show outside with real fireworks! I was expecting to see people shooting off old flares, but there were grade A fireworks and roman candles. It was a lot of fun to see after having been at sea for nearly a month. Other people have been on the ship even longer, so a bit of fun normally only available on land was refreshing. Personally, I missed seeing fireworks last year because we were on the Revelle during the fourth and no one had brought any, so being able to see them this year was nice.

July 2, 2019

It’s becoming hard to write my daily blogs, as time gets warped in my mind from my unusual sleeping schedule. It’s increasingly harder to write about my days in the usual 24-hour span from midnight to midnight, as one of my shifts is from midnight to four in the morning. My noon to four shift did not require me to log in the control van, as we were in a 17-hour transit to Axial Base. I spent the time catching up on sleep and thinking about the timespan for my project.

I was able to speak with Deb and Mike today about possible timelines and sites to focus on. I had been told by a few of the students from the previous leg to avoid “getting locked into something” for my senior thesis when I mentioned making my project into a two-year thesis but was advised to do exactly that by both Deb and Mike. Their reasoning that with a large enough project I could start by doing something small from a relatively unstudied site such a Tiny Towers, and continue to do more work with mapping and data in relation to the biology there over time if I found enough interest in the project. The two years would afford me time to not only get a taste for the type of research I would be doing for the project and similar projects, but perhaps produce a publishable paper along with my senior thesis, a goal much greater than the standard senior capstone class required for my major.

I have started reading a book,“The Lost City of The Monkey God”, by Douglas Preston, that Susan Casey had recommended to me, following our conversation about my desire to contact an anthropologist or someone who specialized in documenting indigenous cultures. So far, the book is a great read, but it only covers the discovery, exploration, and documentation of an ancient Mesoamerican civilization, different than my interest yet a good insight to something I am deeply unfamiliar with.

After the recovery of the profiler during my night shift, we started a two-hour transit to International District. There our next three dives will be to survey the vents and replace a camera. I eagerly await seeing Escargot, Diva, and Tiny Towers in the upcoming dives. It will be helpful to see these sites with thoughts of my project in mind, a new perspective to seeing the awesome geology, chemistry, and biology at the vents.

July 1, 2019

On the deck with Susan Casey and Janel Hershey, my Jason Control Van watch mates. Credit: Mike Vardaro, University of Washington, V19

This leg the shift schedule has changed to 4 hours on and 8 hours off. This was the way it had been in 2017 and 2018. I’ve been on this schedule before but have now grown accustomed to the 6 hours on 18 hours off schedule that was used on leg two and three of this year. For now, I’m tricking my body into a new sleeping pattern. Aside from this I have two watch standers on my shift who will be logging with Sealog. They are Susan Casey, an author, and Janel Hershey, a middle-school integrated science teacher.

I’ve spoken with Susan about some of her work as a writer, and we touched on the topic of documenting cultures of indigenous people. She knows people who work with the National Geographic Society and people who specialize in documenting unwritten languages.

This is of interest to me because my father’s family from Mexico are undocumented indigenous people with no written language. It would be amazing if I could try to preserve and document some of the history, culture, and language from this side of my ancestry. I currently know very little about it and have wanted to learn about it for several years now. If I were able to work with someone who studies anthropology or learn a few tips from them, I would like to have this culture documented, even if just to learn more about myself.

June 27, 2019

On deck recovering the CTD rosette. Credit: M. Elend, University of Washington;V19

After lunch we cast another CTD, this time at Slope Base, and I was able to help with recovery on deck. I had done the deployment from deck the last time we did a CTD cast, so this time I was ready to learn how to hook the rosette and pull it in with the tugger. It was actually a bit stressful for me. Trying to keep the tugger going at a steady yet slow rate to stabilize the rosette in the air proved a bit more difficult than I expected. I did everything without causing problems for the SSSGs (shipboard science support group), but I felt stressed as I likely put more pressure on myself to do well than anyone else did.

I feel that deck work can be stressful because of the caution needed to be taken to prevent accidents from occurring. One wrong move could potentially be catastrophic, depending on the type of deck work. At the end of the recovery everything was A-OK, and I was relieved. As much as I’m nervous to do it again, I know that the only way to get better at it is to practice. Hopefully I can worry less next time, having done it once now.

I’ve been eager to help Yvan set up the transducer each time he asks if I’m interested. Hearing the transducer make the sharp beeping noise is like listening to a house alarm go off in the distance. It can be heard throughout the main lab when deployed over the side of the ship near the door. As he typed code to the instrument though his computer to give it orders, I felt as though I were in an MIB(Men in Black) movie. With the thick, black, plastic case that housed the electronic components of the instrument, and the computer language used to “speak” with it being entirely foreign to me, I could imagine Yvan as a secret agent for the government communicating with underwater aliens hidden from the rest of the world.

As I thought about that funny comparison, I realized that it wasn’t entirely untrue. Less than 1% of the population is educated in marine science or oceanography, and the community is constantly finding new “aliens” in the ocean (in the sense that the life found is alien to us as we previously knew nothing of it). Aside from Yvan being a secret agent and the community’s efforts to make public all the “alien” discoveries, this analogy is just a slight exaggeration of the truth.

June 26, 2019

: A hagfish opens its mouth and performs for the livestream audience. Credit: UW/_NSF_WHOI_V19

The air in the van was filled with excitement, anticipation, distress, and relief in that order. When preparing for the facebook live stream event we planned a route to follow along Einstein’s grotto to show our instruments and the biology living there. The van was packed with people waiting to watch from the best seat in the house. A few technical difficulties arose with the video feed and audio to the live stream but after some troubleshooting, we were back in business! I recorded a lot of biology and bubble plumes in 4K and got to see amazing close ups of the deep-sea critters. A hagfish performed for us as we zoomed in on it, we watched as it open and closed its mouth for us and swam around with little dance-like motions.

After lunch we listened to Bea talk about how she came to apply for her job as a scullery.  Her family has been on many vessels, and she grew up going out on her family boat, so naturally she fell into line working on a vessel. Hearing her speak about her pathway to getting where she is now was of interest to me as she is only five years older than I am. From everything that I’ve heard from the people on this ship, the key to success is doing what makes you happy. With that in mind, I hope to be able to do what makes me most happy in my life.

Tomorrow I will hear from Yann(University of Bremen, Germany) about the work he has done with bubble plumes. I will be trying to understand his work to solidify an idea for my own project. Since I am most interested in biology, I can use data from numerous instruments like the CTD, BOTPT, ADCP, or sonar to hypothesize why particular species have certain life habits and how their interactions with their habitat affect the environment. I look forward to learning new perspectives on not only biology, but on the way multiple factors such as: chemistry, physics, and geology, interact with biology. So many things can be done!

June 25, 2019

Today I was treated to some encouraging feedback about my efforts and positivity throughout the day. While rinsing the osmo pumps that Katie B. had asked me to clean, Eve remarked on how quickly and skillfully I was able to clean the pump. She exclaimed, “Whoa, that usually takes me like 45 minutes. This must be your calling!” Shortly after, Julie entered the room and remarked, “Katie B. must trust you if she leaves you alone with the osmos”, when she saw me cleaning them myself. Later on, Katie B. told me that she was pleased with the work I’ve been doing on the ship. The last positive comment of the night came form Yvan. While finishing preparing the last of the push cores that will be used in an upcoming dive, he commented on how refreshing it was to see my enthusiasm and work ethic. It makes me so happy to hear that people think highly of my performance and attitude. I’m left feeling radiant and eager to continue doing well, both at sea and on land.

June 24, 2019

: Katie Gonzalez helps Jennifer Delaney (Harvard) and Yvan Alleau (OSU) collect push core samples. Photo credit: M. Ellend, University of Washington, V19

I woke up feeling so tired. I didn’t get to bed until after 01:00am because of the ruckus from the night before. Staying awake in the JASON control van can be difficult, as the lights are turned off and it’s always frigid. I bring a blanket to keep warm, which makes it more difficult to stay awake as the comfort of the blanket and rocking of the ship in the dark lulls me closer to sleep. My shift this morning started with the recovery of the CAMDS-2018 and ended with a launch to recover the Mass Spectrometer in the last hour of the shift. It was business as usual in the control van, but the highlight of my day came after dinner.

After dinner I helped Yvan and Jenny separate push core samples in the wet lab for about five hours. The three of us made an assembly line to speed up the process, Yvan placed the push core tube on the extruder, Jenny initially scraped core sample, and I stored the samples in corresponding bags. Halfway through the process Jenny and I swapped positions and I was able to try both scraping and storing the samples. We had some funny conversation topics and it hardly even felt that long. I thought we had only been doing it for about two hours, yet three more hours had slipped past me somehow. I guess there is some truth to the saying “time flies when you’re having fun”.

Tomorrow we will have two talks during our student meeting. One from my friend Bea and one from Tina Haskins from the JASON team. The short talks we get from people on the ship are always captivating, and I usually walk away from it having learned something new, having received good advice, or having seen something from a different perspective. It never ceases to amaze me how differently people arrived to where they are now in their lives, and how I can learn from their past.

June 23, 2019

Katie Gonzalez helps put push core samplers together for Yvan Alleau and Jenny Delaney. Photo credit: Jennifer Delaney, Harvard, V19

This morning’s shift began at the ending of the MARUM sonar recovery at 6:00am and an hour and half transit to the offshore site. At 08:30 we began a dive to replace the BEP and connect it to the junction box. The 600 m site has so many fish, I was looking at the sonar on screen in the control van and saw little blips indicating fish everywhere! They were kind of pesky as they got in the way of the cameras at points and stirred up sediment from the seafloor as they swam past and around the plug that we were connecting the cable to. There’s never a dull moment with the JASON crew, as they jokingly mocked the fish for being nuisances.

During our student meeting we scheduled talks with a few people to hear about their work or life. Luckily for me the people we plan to speak with are either new to this leg or weren’t asked to give talks while on leg two, so I get to hear new things from new people! I especially look forward to hearing more from Jenny and Yvan about the benthic microbial fuel cell that they will be deploying. I was able to help them set up the push core samplers after the student meeting.It was fun to be a part of the set up for such a unique instrument. It’s moments like this that make me truly feel involved with the science that is being conducted on this cruise. I’m usually behind the scenes, working from a computer or taking and making videos of instruments, but getting a moment to help firsthand is always rewarding, and watching from the control van as the push core samples were being taken just sends me over the moon!

We started a CTD cast late at night, but it was interrupted by a power outage and a fire alarm.  Everyone was quick to fix everything that was shut off by the power outage, and the whole ship was back to business as usual in a few hours. Since the emergency happened in the engine room, our tour scheduled for tomorrow was understandably canceled. We had to abort the CTD cast in progress at the time of the power outage and alarm, so we began to transit to hydrate ridge for some more dives to stay on schedule. With everyone’s safety assured and the ship running normally again, I can now say that I have experience with a real ship emergency. Thanks to the emergency training we received before leaving I and feel capable of handling another emergency in the future, although I hope I won’t need to.

June 22, 2019

Katie Gonzalez helping to train the new Leg 3 personnel on the use of the logging stations in the Jason control van. Credit: M. Elend, University of Washington, V19

Today we set sail on leg three! I’m getting to know the new students as I show them how to use Sealog and the camera logging stations in the control van. It’s always bittersweet to have the students change each leg, but with each leg comes new people and new memories! As usual, I will be spending the most time with my watch partner, Christopher Williams, so with that in mind I look forward to getting to know him.

At breakfast I met Jenny Delaney (Harvard) and Yvan Alleau (Oregon State) and heard a bit about the benthic microbial fuel cell they will be deploying. From what I understood it functions as a battery that gets charged through microbial decomposition of organic matter that releases electrons, which then get transferred to the battery’s cathode. It’s amazing to think that batteries and charging stations can be placed underwater and used to charge instruments to run continuously. This is the sort of pioneering technology that was previously only dreamed of and discussed in science fiction novels and science fantasy movies and television shows. From as early as the beginning of humankind, we have wondered what lies beneath the sea, and now we are finally realizing the science necessary to study these environments. What a time to be alive!

Before we left port, Christopher, Eve, and I helped wrap the CAMDS cable around the horns of the undervator. It’s important that it gets wrapped in a figure-eight to prevent knots or kinks in the cable as it’s unraveled by JASON. Being able to help on deck is always fun, as I continue to learn why something is done a certain way on the ship. It adds to the depth of my understanding of the operations happening.

I’ve been reading Mike Vardaro’s papers on his research and the instrument justifications that will be submitted to keep funding for the array. It’s very helpful to see another person’s writing style and take notes on how to concisely communicate science through writing. I’ve only written a few scientific research papers for classes in my undergraduate career so far and can use all the practice and help available. I plan to speak with Mike about his papers and writing process as I believe it would be very beneficial for me.

June 19, 2019

Today we received the long-awaited tour of Alvin! The other students and I were treated to an exterior tour of the deep submergence vehicle (DSV) Alvin. The other students also received an interior tour, but because I will be on the next two legs, I will see the interior after them to ensure they see it before they leave on Friday. A tour of the exterior showed us four spherical containers made of titanium, two forward and two aft, that collectively hold 500 pounds of mercury. The mercury is moved between these containers to tilt Alvin in the forward or aft directions as needed. Alvin can hold three people, one pilot and two scientists. The outside has seven thrusters and eight cameras. In case of an emergency, five of the thrusters, the starboard manipulator, and the cabin holding the pilot and scientists can be jettisoned off.

We learned that it is important for there to be duplicates of almost everything, either in the form of spares or in the way something functions. For example, two batteries are used in Alvin to power both starboard and port sides of the vessel. If one side loses power, the other side can continue to power the vessel for the rest of the dive. Once underwater, the risk of losing power to something becomes a threat to the safety of the people within the sub, so extra precaution must be taken in advance.

While having two of everything is critical, being able to power the sub during an operation is just as important. The conservation of battery life is a high priority for every dive. To help these efforts, the sub is made with a lot of syntactic foam, just like JASON, as it relies on buoyancy as a crucial component for descending and ascending. This is done to maximize its energy efficiency while underwater. If it had to rely solely on the thrusters it would hardly ascend or descend at a reasonable speed for operations. After learning about Alvin from the outside, I can’t wait to see the inside!

The digital still camera in 80 meters of water is encrusted with life after only 1 year in the water. Credit: UW/NSF-OOI/WHOI;V19.

Later, my wish to get grungy from cleaning an instrument became a reality as Hayden and I cleaned the CAMHD recovered from the 80m site. It was covered in so many barnacles, from top to bottom, on almost every conceivable area of surface. We scraped at it for what must have been an hour and sprayed it down along the way. Every rinse would show us more of the spots we were missing each time we passed over it with our scrapers. The distinct noises made from scraping the barnacles off the titanium made me feel like a Foley artist, creating noises to be used in movies. When we were done, we were covered in so much grime the only thing we could do was strip out of our clothes and put them in the wash. The filth on our clothes showed our efforts and gave me the rewarding feeling I was looking for. The shower I will take tonight will be the finishing touch to complete the feeling, ending with a deservedly tired yet fresh body to fall asleep in.

June 18, 2019

Today we got a tour of the bridge after lunch. I noticed a detail that I likely missed from the bridge tours on the Revelle. The Atlantis has a ship whistle that hangs from the ceiling and looks like it would be fun to pull. I’m sure the Revelle had this as well, I just likely missed it on the bridge tour. The whistle is very loud though, so we did not get to pull it for fun since it would disturb a lot of people. Maybe I can ask the captain for permission to pull when leaving port on the next leg, as they usually must be tested anyways. If I get to, I’ll be sure to have my picture taken!

After the bridge tour we listened to Katie B. talk about her experiences from graduating undergrad to where she is now in her life. I didn’t get to hear the whole conversation though because I was asked to help in the control van. While in the van I saw a skate! As well as many rattails, sea cucumbers, sea stars, and a few anemones. Sadly, we also saw a coke can. Even at 2,900m the ocean still shows signs of the destruction humans have havocked on this planet. I wish only the best for the Earth, but it seems we may well have seen the last of the few precious places undisturbed by humans. It will likely be long after all humans are gone that the planet restores itself to something as vibrant and pristine as wild nature uninhabited by our kind, of which I’m doubtful any still exists without some signs of our damage.

I’d rather end this blog on a lighthearted note, so I will change the subject to the cribbage game I played with APL engineers Ben Brand and Paul Auguilar. It seems I either won by luck, or I retained some skill from the last time I played. If I keep winning, I may have to enter the cribbage competition at the Clallam County Fair. There you can play against a member from the local competitive cribbage team, and if you win you get to put your name in a raffle for a free cribbage board. I entered the competition two years ago when I had first learned how to play, but I lost. Some practice will help, then I can only hope lady luck favors me in the raffle draw.

June 16, 2019:

Very healthy tube worms grow on the face of the hot vent Inferno. Credit: UW/NSF-OOI/WHOI, V19.

We dove to the ASHES vent field this morning during my shift, and got to see Mushroom, Inferno, and Hell. Seeing the scale worms, tubeworms, and sulfide worms living on the vent towers was a thing of beauty. I learned that the sulfide worms are the first to colonize the vent, and that they are able to use sulfide to form an iron-sulfide mineral that comprises their tubes that they live in. They can withstand drastic temperature differences. Learning this inspired me to read a paper on sulfide worms at hydrothermal vents in my spare time.

Having taken an intense marine zoology course at the UW Friday Harbor Labs prior to coming on this leg of the cruise, I can now understand more about what their body plan consists of and how it allows these worms to live. I find it amazing to see the biological connections these creatures, that live in such different environments than the ones I studied at Friday Harbor Labs, have with each other. I look forward to learning in more detail about tube worms, scale worms, and the other amazing life inhabiting these vents and at such depths!

While in the control van I was inspired to think of some haikus. After hearing the Jason crew speak with the deck crew over the two-way radio, I thought of this:

Thrusters are secured

Permission to launch Jason

Read you loud and clear

During our student meeting we scheduled a conversation with Mike Vardaro for our meeting tomorrow. I look forward to hearing about his previous work and learning as much as I can about the biology he’s studied. We also plan to listen to Katie Bigham sometime. Hearing her experience as a baccalaureate and recently accepted PhD candidate would be a chance to gain some advice on the process of graduating, and applying for jobs and graduate school. There are many questions we all have about these processes and the experience she gained while doing them.

June 15, 2019:

During Jason dive J2-1150, a 120 m extension cable was recovered following its replacement. It provides power and communications to the Shallow Profiler Mooring. Credit: M. Elend, University of Washington.

This morning’s shift took us to Axial Base, where we swapped the cable connecting the EOM anchor to the junction box. After my shift the PIA and SPA were swapped and then we transited to the ASHES vent field during the night. Tomorrow we will be diving at Mushroom and Inferno and I can’t wait to see them again! Hopefully my shift will begin once we reach the bottom, that would be awesome!

During the day we went on an engine room tour, which took us below the hangar that Alvin is currently stored in, and to Alvin’s battery room. The Chief Engineer couldn’t show us Alvin, but we could see one of the batteries that Alvin uses, and the room where Alvin has its batteries changed in. The lead acid battery is very large, about the size of a deep freezer, and could make explosive hydrogen gas if charged in a sealed room. To keep this from happening, the room it was in was negative, so that the pressure was low enough to prevent it from happening. The batteries are lead acid which requires that the cabin be airtight, since a wet cell can be submerged to bring the vessel to equilibrium.

Later I helped cleaning the EOM cable, recovered from the dive during my watch, using a power washer on the deck. I donned my Grundens and XTRATUFs in preparation to get wet and dirty. I hardly got wet or dirty at all when I was finished and felt a bit disappointed. I feel that getting filthy from manual labor makes the work seem more rewarding when the job is done. I’m sure there is more dirty work to come, so I await my time to get grungy.

After cleaning the cable, I went up to the bridge to watch whales on the starboard side of the ship. The first mate, PJ, seemed uninterested in the whales as they weren’t “being sporty”. I recently learned how to play sudoku so he gave me a puzzle sheet and told me to see him when I finished it. I’ve enlisted the help of fellow student, Kailey Busch, to complete the puzzle with me, but we didn’t make it very far before coming across conflicting numbers. I hope to be able to finish it before the end of the cruise, he told me it once took three weeks for a group of four people to finish one puzzle. What a challenge!

June 14, 2019:

This morning’s shift had a little hitch in it. As we were recovering the Science Pod package from the shallow water profiler mooring the pod itself had slipped out of place while being breaching in the waves. Jason pilot, Korey Verhein, tried to keep the mood light by singing “Get the Party Started”, by P!NK, as the recovery unfolded on screen. It’s always good to keep tension light in the control van, as the atmosphere can quickly become heavy when things go awry.

Aft deck of the Atlantis on Leg 2 with Shallow Profiler platforms. Credit. Kellen Rosburg, University of Washington, V19.

After the recovery and deployment of PIA and SPA packages from the mooring, we began a 16-hour transit to Axial Seamount. Sadly, during the transit I felt very fatigued and had to sleep for a few hours before I felt better. Thankfully I don’t get violently sick, but my body does feel exhausted and weak from working so hard against gravity to do simple things like walk, stand, and sit. Although after the transit I have amazing wonders and sights awaiting me at Axial Seamount! My favorite part will be learning more about the biology at the vents, as I plan to speak with Mike Vardaro(U of Washington) about the life there.

During our student meeting we complied a list of people we would like to interview for various student projects, or to just listen to their words of advice and experience. It’s been suggested to me that I interview the women of science on this ship, so as a side project I will make a motivating video for female students studying or aspiring to study oceanography. The other student’s have some ideas about making videos on some  of the instruments. Having made videos on three of the instruments along the Regional Cabled Array last year, I would love to help them with their projects if needed!

Tomorrow a new day will begin full of things to do, see, and learn, and I eagerly await all of it. It will be hard to leave the control van once we reach Axial Seamount, as my eyes will be glued to every second of as many dives I’m awake for.

If a CTD cast is done I would love to get hands-on experience using the tuggers and winch for the on-deck process of recovery, as well as learning the ropes of deployment from the computer lab. Each cruise and leg offer new sights and opportunities, and I’m loving every moment of it!

June 13, 2019:

It feels homey to be aboard the R/V Atlantis this summer. With two cruises on the R/V Revelle behind me, I can have a sense of understanding for a ship’s layout. The Atlantis is very similar, and I can nearly walk the halls just from memory. Although there are a few things different about the layout, I’m making a scavenger hunt out of finding these little differences.

UW Research scientist Wendi Reuf and undergraduate Katie Gonzalez enjoy the scenery as we depart Newport for Leg 2 of the VISIONS19 cruise. Credit: D. Kelley

I find it interesting when I run across a door placed in a different location of the room as compared to the Revelle, or a divider between the mess hall and the library being used.

Yesterday we were given a tour of the CTD control station in the computer lab and the sampling rosette on deck. More responsibilities for CTD sampling are being given to the students and science crew this cruise. In past years we have only been part of the deployment from the computer lab and collecting water samples from the Niskin bottles, now we will be helping control the winch, and deploying and recovering the rosette from the deck. I am extremely excited to learn these new roles in the process of CTD sampling!

Today I have been helping update the Sealog interface for use of the data logger in the control van. I really enjoy data logging and have been lucky enough to learn it’s inner workings while on land prior to this cruise. Having made two tutorial videos about using Sealog has given me a great understanding of it, and I am able to help the other students learn how to navigate and use it in the control van. Its last update has changed a few things and added some useful features were, so I look forward to sharing my thoughts about it with the creator, Webb Pinner, when he arrives on leg 4.

I made two new friends while having my traditional “second dinner” in the mess hall. Olivia, a deck hand, and Bea, a kitchen staff, were eager to hear about the dive happening as it was displayed on the monitor. It’s nice to talk to people around my age in different positions on the ship. As we share things about our jobs with each other I learn a little more about all the roles necessary to run a research vessel and feel more confident in my explanations of my duties and ship operations.

LIVE VIDEO FROM the R/V Atlantis and ROV Jason is now available

June 22, 2019 2330 local (Pacific): Operations at the Oregon Shelf site (80m) are complete, and we are steaming towards Hydrate Ridge to recover the MARUM sonar and do a site survey. 

June 22, 2019 2015 local (Pacific): Conditions at the Oregon Shelf site (80 m) have been perfect: good visibility, calm weather. We have now completed two dives, the 2019 BEP and camera are in place, and the 2018 bioacoustic sonar has been recovered. Jason is now deploying the 2019 sonar package.

June 22, 2019 1400 local (Pacific): The first dive of Leg 2 begins. Jason will be diving at the Oregon Shelf Site (80 m) to deploy a Benthic Experiment Package (BEP) and Camera.

June 21, 2019 2150 local (Pacific): Today we finished demobilization of Leg 2, and welcomed a new group of students and scientists for Leg 3, which departs tomorrow. This portion of the cruise will visit Oregon Shelf (80m), Oregon Offshore (600m), and Hydrate Ridge, where a number of new and unique sensors will be deployed!

June 19, 2019 2240 local (Pacific): The last dive of Leg 2 (Dive 1163) is complete, and the Oregon Shelf BEP is safely aboard. The next step is to steam to Newport to offload equipment and bring on new gear and students for Leg 3! Live video will return on 6/22.

June 19, 2019 1835 local (Pacific): With successful recovery of the digital still camera, and good weather and visibility continuing, we are about to have one last dive on Leg 2 to recover the BEP (Dive 1163). Jason will shortly go back into the water.

June 19, 2019 1435 local (Pacific):  The Atlantis is moving towards station to recover the digital still camera at the Oregon Shelf site. Jason will take the undervator down. We are hoping that visibility is good there and that we get a look at the BEP and the junction box which, last year, was completely covered in huge sea anemones.

June 19, 2019 0910 local (Pacific): The Atlantis is currently steaming to the 80 m site. If sea-visibility conditions are conducive, the digital still camera at this site will be recovered in the undervator.

June 19, 2019 0615 local (Pacific): Jason is currently diving to recover a Benthic Experiment Package (BEP) at Oregon Offshore (600 m: 1800 ft).

June 18, 2019 1845 local (Pacific): Jason is diving to swap out a CTD and optical attenuation/absorption tripod at Slope Base (2900 m; 9500 ft). After this dive, Atlantis will head back to the Oregon Offshore site.

June 18, 2019 1345 local (Pacific): Jason at 2019 HPIES instrument that was free-fallen off the R/V Atlantis. Jason will now fly it to where the 2018 instrument is installed ~ 150 m away.

June 18, 2019 1225 local (Pacific): Jason diving to 2900 m (9500 ft) at the toe of the Cascadia Margin to install and recover an HPIES instrument.

June 18, 2019 1000 local (Pacific): We are still steaming towards Slope Base and will arrive onsite at 1100 for Jason Dive J2-1159. Misty it is out here – perfect diving weather.

June 18, 2019 0005 local (Pacific): We completed all OOI work at Axial Seamount for Leg 2 and are now steaming towards Slope Base to recover the HPIES instrument and CTD at this site. With luck we will see the "weird" fish again..a fish previously found in waters off Antarctica and first filmed ever in 2014 on a Regional Cabled Array Cruise.

June 17, 2019 1335 local (Pacific): Jason is at 1204 m on its ascent to the surface. The HPIES instrument was swapped out and the 2018 platform is attached beneath the vehicle for recovery.

Following this dive, we will conduct a full water column (2600 m) CTD to collect verification samples for the adjacent Deep Profiler. Then off to Slope Base….

June 17, 2019 0945 local (Pacific): Earlier this morning Jason successfully swapped a CTD stand at Axial Base. The vehicle is diving again to ~2600 m at the site following the free falling HPIES instrument. Once at the seafloor the new HPIES instrument will be swapped and the current instrument recovered.

June 16, 2019 1015 local (Pacific): ASHES Hydrothermal Field: Jason had a power glitch in the wee hours of the morning and the vehicle was brought back on deck for trouble-shooting.

Jason is now back in the water – heading for the underwater hot springs to turn the HD camera and pick up some small tripods with temperature sensors on them that were deployed last year.

June 15, 2019 2230 local (Pacific): Jason just completed installing the two instrumented platforms on the Shallow Profiler Mooring at Axial Base. Soon we will transit to the top of Axial Seamount to begin work at the hydrothermal vents nearly a mile beneath the oceans surface.

June 15, 2019 1400 local (Pacific): The new 120 m cable providing power and bandwidth to the Shallow Profiler Mooring installed last leg is now installed and connected. Jason is recovering the cabled installed in 2014, and will then return to the surface. Following this, two instrumented platforms will be installed on the mooring, completing mooring work for this Leg.

June 15, 2019 855 local (Pacific): We are now working at Axial Base. Jason is diving to 2600 m (8500 ft). The seas are flat, flat, flat…perfect diving weather

June 14, 2019 2035 local (Pacific): The R/V Atlantis continues to transit to Axial Seamount..stay tuned for Jason Dive J2-1150 ~ 0700  tomorrow morning.

June 14, 2019 1330 local (Pacific): Jason is coming up from the last Shallow Profiler dive at Slope Base. Once on deck we will transit ~ 16 hrs to the base of Axial Seamount. The first dive (J2-1150) will be to replace a 120 m long cable that will then be connected to the LV03B junction box and to the newly installed Shallow Profiler Mooring (Leg 1). This dive will be at ~2600 m water depth and will last ~ 10 hrs.

June 14, 2019 0730 local (Pacific): Jason is in the middle of dive J2-1147 at Slope Base. Preparations are underway to recover the platform interface assembly, the first of three dives at the shallow profiler here.

June 13, 2019 2235 local (Pacific): Jason about to start dive J2-1146, the third dive of the day. This will deploy the new profiler pod at Oregon Offshore. Then on to Slope Base!

June 13, 2019 1700 local (Pacific): Jason is not diving – will dive to ~200 m.

June 13, 2019 1600 local (Pacific): We are on station at the Oregon Offshore site and Jason is about to go into the water J2-1144.

June 13, 2019: We departed Newport at 1000 and in ~ 4-5 hrs will begin work at the Oregon Offshore Site first conducting a CTD, then turning the instrumented platforms on the Shallow Profiler Mooring. There will be three Jason dives to complete this work.

June 12, 2019 Leg 2 Begins: Today we are finishing up mobilization of Leg 2 and will depart tomorrow for the Oregon Offshore site.

June 10, 2019 Leg 1 Ends: Today demobilization begins of Leg 1 and mobilization of Leg 2. The ROV Jason will be loaded onboard, along with many tons of gear (shallow profiler pods, instruments..etc) for installation during Leg 2.

June 9, 2019: With seastate significantly improved, the UW APL team was able to complete installation of the Shallow Profiler Mooring during a very long work day. The mooring will be plugged into the ‘Internet’ on Leg 2. With this success, the Atlantis began steaming into port.

June 8, 2019: The weather gods shined on the Regional Cabled Array cruise today, and the Shallow Profiler Mooring is now being installed at the base of Axial Seamount. Once completed, the R/V Atlantis will steam into port for demobing of Leg 1 and mobing of Leg 2.

June 7, 2019:  Weather continues to frown on us, preventing Shallow Profiler Operations. However, tomorrows forecast looks very good. Mooring operations will begin early morning.

June 6, 2019:  This is a weather day as wind and seastate are preventing operations. At daylight tomorrow will determine of operations can commence

June 5, 2019:  Issues with the winch required time for complete a work around, weather worsening.

June 3, 2019:  The ship arrived at Axial Seamount. At 0815 work began to conduct a partial recovery of the Shallow Profiler Mooring using the medium-lift winch. The mechanical leg of the mooring was disconnected and the platform and electro-mechanical leg brought onboard. 

June 2, 2019:  The R/V Atlantis departed Newport Oregon at 0800 for Axial Seamount.