August 29: Pillow Lava Painting
One of the most amazing landscapes on the seafloor is in the ASHES hydrothermal site, the pillows. This is lava that flows and forms rounded pillow like structures. The roundness and uneven sizes makes a nice alternative to the flatness of other lava flows at other sites.
August 29 Tiny Towers
I set up my small art kit of paints in the control van today, right after my morning shift of video logging. It’s such a wonderful landscape deep down there, active vents and amazing colors, it has an other worldliness, mysterious and unique.. As Jason moved slowly over the scene unplugging and plugging, I saw such amazing colors and textures, shimmering areas where vents were active.
August 26: Transit to Axial
We’re on our way to Axial, site of vents, chimneys, lava flows, critters, oh my!! A twenty hour trip across endless and beautiful seas of blue gray, broken only by the whiteness of the waves off the back of the ship. It seems like a hunker-down kind of day, just getting things done before the busy schedule of the dives begin.
My shifts are both 8-12, morning and evening, which gives me a reasonable sleep/eat time in between. I am learning to be a sea logger, and a video logger, alternating each shift. The active Jason Van is amazing.
We student loggers watch and record and take photos all of Jason’s moves as the various teams up front choreograph the many parts of each dive. Last night they brought down a new Profiler and retrieved the old, and cleaned the cable of all the biofoul that has colonized it and called it home since the last time it was visited. Often we see some wonderful fish, jelly, and critters I have no name for (yet).