"Yesterday was the hump day (halfway point). The days pass quickly! This morning, the van was quiet, and nobody was around the labs, so I took the opportunity to do my laundry and take some fresh air on the front deck. The ship was moving from the Darwin Mud volcano to another target travelling at 11 Knots! The sea was flat, this morning, and the ship didn’t roll a lot. However, after 11 days on board, nobody thinks about sea-sickness, here. Now we are over a geological feature called Western. Its depth is about 2800 meters. The scientists are investigating if this is a mud volcano or not. For this, they are doing bathymetry and some cores. If you want to see where exactly is the Western, just have a look to the Perspective View (below) that Andrey did especially for our diary. In this map, you can see the other targets of the cruise (in red).
When the cores came up this afternoon, the lab and the working deck were full of people again, cutting the cores and taking samples. Today we had an eight metre long core! The mud was the centre of attention: ‘Look at this part of the sediment, it has plenty of metals. And this part doesn’t contain any metal. Here, there is evidence of bacteria in the sediment. How do you know that? Because of this little black holes over there. Have you seen this worm I have found in the core? Look into the microscope. It is moving. Is still alive!’....more tomorrow!"