Another long day spent in transit. Today, the sea was not as calm as yesterday, and the choppy water has sent confusing messages to my inner ear, resulting in bouts of seasickness. Unfortunately, I lost my breakfast shortly after consuming it. Fortunately, I made it to the bathroom in time.
The choppiness of the water did not lend itself to good photos today. We are more than halfway to the Galapagos now, and we will be starting some mapping of our dive site in about 20 minutes. The mapping will involve 10 hours of “mowing the lawn,” which means we will follow a series of parallel lines back and forth, back and forth, while the multibeam sonar collects data about the depth of the seafloor. Then the data is assembled into a comprehensive map of the floor. This will assist the scientists in identifying ahead of time the most interesting areas upon which to dive with the ROVs.
The first dive of my leg of the expedition is scheduled for June 10th. After mapping the dive site, we will proceed to the Galapagos, crossing the equator tomorrow. When we arrive in the Galapagos, we will have the ship’s hull inspected by the Galapagos National Park, to ensure that we are not accidentally importing invasive species that could harm the creatures of the park. We will also take on a parks official, who will remain on board for the duration of our time within the park’s boundaries. And we will also be joined by Dr. Ballard, some scientists, and several guests who support the Ocean Exploration Trust and its mission.
I have been doing a lot of writing the past couple of days, probably not the best activity for when one is seasick, but it is necessary. I had a deadline for the Ventura County Star and a blog posting for the Nautilus Live website to work on. I also spent some time with members of the video and educational team coming up with plans for the live interactions that start tomorrow, with institutions in Belfast and Houston, and my daughter’s kindergarten class.
A bank of dark and ominous clouds loomed to the west this afternoon, blocking the sunset. The streaks of rain falling from them were dramatic and dark. One thing I did not think about is that the days are shorter on the equator than they are at home. The sun sets right at about dinner time; right now it is very, very dark outside, and the skies have cleared, delivering an incredible view of a sky filled with stars. As of now, the seasickness has abated, and the seas have calmed with the winds and the darkness. I am sorry to have no photos to share with you today – I did not snap a single photo all day!
Until tomorrow then, good night!
Skip to the next blog post by Melissa: A day of firsts
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