Day 10: Wednesday 14 March
Sampling area: dredging and TOBI survey
Position at midnight: 13º5N, 44º41W
Two further dredges were carried out in the early hours of the morning and both were successful.In with the second dredge was 15kg of sediment that had to be washed and checked for any small samples. The deck crew allowed me to be in control of the high power hose (with a little muscle behind me!) while Chris MacLeod was down on his hands and knees searching through the sediment as I washed it. If Chris happened to get slightly(!) wet that was due to the over powering force of the hose and not my aiming....honest!! One thing is true-life is never dull on board the James Cook, you never quite know what you are going to wake up to!!
In the afternoon we made our way to the start of our TOBI (Towed Ocean Bottom Instrument) survey. TOBI will be used throughout the next few weeks to collect sidescan sonar and magnetics information about the seafloor. The sonar sends ‘pings’ to the seafloor every four seconds, measuring the amount of backscatter from a six kilometre wide swath, which gives an indication of the type of rocks and structures present. Magnetic information will be used to interpret the large scale structures at depth as well as the spreading history of the Mid Atlantic Ridge area. More soon!