Alex Rose Blog Leg 2

August 21:

Getting used to my sleep schedule on the boat is getting easier and easier. I am feeling more energized each morning and I barely feel the waves that made me stumble in first couple of days.

Last night I had another shift where ROPOS dove down at Southern Hydrate Ridge and we got to look at the infamous Einstein’s Grotto. During this time, they readjusted a cable and did a survey of the surrounding area to document the new locations of instruments.

We also got to go on a tour of the Bridge. We got to see out all over the boat and see how they maneuver the ship around.

Later in the day we sent down a CTS rosette at Slope Base which reaches water depths of~2900 meters. Since the Rosette was going so far down, one of the Chief Scientists brought out different Styrofoam cups as well as a Styrofoam head for us to decorate. The pressure at the depth shrank the cups and heads to much smaller sizes than they were previously, and it was very cool. I may try to get a nap in before my next shift, but we will see what awaits us before then.

August 19:

My day yesterday started with waking up around 0730 to get to my first morning shift from 0800 to 1200 in which another ROPOS dive occurred. It was basically the same dive we had viewed the day before but in a different spot at a deeper depth. This made it a lot easier to maneuver the ROV due to the lack of strong current like we viewed the day before, but took much longer to get to depth.

During the dive however, the sea sickness was starting to get to me, and I was not feeling good during the first part. Once the ROV touched down on the seafloor that changed. Seeing the ROV maneuver and work with the instruments down there is so fascinating that it takes your mind of off the swaying of the ship.

I also got to do oxygen titrations with one of the chief scientists which I found to be very fun. I had done titrations in a lab on land before in my general Chemistry classes. However, doing it on a swaying boat was way more difficult even though I had automated equipment.

 Today I woke up feeling pretty good and I felt like I was walking semi normally on the ship even if it looked like I was learning how to walk. I got on shift again at 0800 and finished the dive that was ongoing an hour later.

Afterwards I helped Andrew with some miscellaneous tasks like rinsing tubs with milli-Q water and helping siphon water out of some tubes gathered from an earlier dive. I have another shift later tonight at 0800 so we will see what is in store for us then.

August 18:

Yesterday was the first day of Leg 2 of the VISIONS 22’ cruise. The R/V Thompson would be our vessel for our journey out to sea. Walking onto this giant research vessel was very intimidating for the first time.

My favorite part so far would be the ship layout. The amenities along with the labs make for tons of interesting tasks during the down time. The labs on the ship although confined to the small spaces are engineered in a way that allows for the tasks assigned to get done and it feels like a well-oiled machine.

Around 1800, the ship departed, and the feeling of being on the waves for the first time is unexplainable – one second you feel weightless and the next you feel like there are an extra hundred pounds on your shoulders.

Then we were at our first site an hour later. My first shift of the cruise started at 2000 and proceeded to go to 0000. This dive was one of the coolest things that I have ever gotten to experience in my life. The ROV and engineering team masterfully set in the new equipment which included a new Benthic Experiement Platform (BEP) and a hydrophone. The arms on the ROV would be grabbing onto one part of the instrument and plugging a cable into another and it was wild.

Getting used to the 24-hour schedule on the cruise is going to take some getting used to, but overall, so far, I am having a blast.