By: Julie Nelson, Co-Chief Scientist Leg 1
Wow. So much has happened since day 2 of VISIONS’22. After the first dive at Slope Base to turn CTDs on LJ01A, the focus of the next 2 dives on Aug 10th was Primary Node 1B (PN1B). PN1B has been out of operation for 2 years. It provides power and fiber optic cable to the Southern Hydrate Ridge site. The installation of the extension cable and subsequent connection to the cable leading back to LV01B at Southern Hydrate Ridge was successful. Hurray! All instruments were powered up and running.
Next, a short transit to Endurance Offshore where the two instrument packages on a Shallow Profiler were swapped out. Then we transited 18 hrs to Axial Base. During the transit student tours and guest presentations were held. Students received an informational tour of the ROPOS ROV from Keith Tamburri (ROPOS Assistant Manager, Canadian Scientific Submersible Facility) and a bridge tour from Todd, the 2nd mate of the Thompson. After dinner the Lead PI of the Program Management Office of the OOI Project, Dr. Jim Edson, gave a presentation in the library about improving marine weather forecasting.
We arrived at Axial Base around 0140 on Friday Aug 12. The instrument packages on the shallow profiler were swapped out, followed by a verification CTD. The students all participated in firing the Niskin bottles to collect water, and in taking samples from them after the CTD rosette came back on board. The Thompson then moved to the International District vent field for a series of dives there.
All in all, a great couple of days, with much work being accomplished, nice weather, and smooth sailing. Another big hurray for the day: today was day 5 of Leg 1, and all parties aboard the Thompson tested negative for COVID! So from now until the end of Leg 1 on Wednesday, August 17th, wearing masks indoors is optional.