JC010: Mud volcanoes and submarine canyons


Cruise diary

Day 10: Saturday 30 June 2007
Position: In transit en route to the Whittard Canyon Position:  41°14.18N 10°23.18W (Google Earth reference: 41 14’1”N 10 23’18”W)
Weather: Sunny

Tina writes:

"Today I though I would take you through a typical day on board the RRS James Cook. 

What I find really odd is that the day starts at different times.  So, my breakfast started at 11.30am, at the same time while Richard was having his supper, this being the start of my 12-midday to 12-midnight shift and the end of his 12-midnight and 12-midday shift. 

So breakfast for me was a rather nice steak pie and salad (I gave the chips a miss so that I could save my self for the cheese cake).  Richard then nips of to bed while I get started with the business of the day.  My ‘active’ hours are 12:00 to 16:00 when I am on duty, normally in the ROV room, we rotate active duty on 4 hour shifts.

In the ROV room I will keep the log up-to-date, take photos using any one of 4 cameras attached to the ROV, with different angles and different resolutions and make sure the various video recordings are operating and correctly labelled.  If the ROV is not deployed then I will help with any cores brought to the surface, or generally help out where needed.  After 16:00 I am available if needed but not necessarily ‘on duty’.  My lunch is 17:30 (Richard has his put to one side to eat during the night) Then after 17:30 I will research what is going on in the ship, look through the photos taken from by the ROV team the previous day or go up on deck and do a spot of dolphin watching (no, I haven’t seen any yet but I keep looking).

By about 23:30 I have finished my blogs, I might grab a sandwich for supper, and am just about ready for bed.  Sometimes I stop of at the bar with other members of my shift to have a sociable drink before turning in for the night.  Of course this is Richard's start of the day!"


A stroll on the deck

Followed by a sociable drink in the bar

Richard writes:

"Isis will return from a dive in the Cascais canyon later today, after carrying out a video transect and swath (mapping by sound) of a landslide (read Helen's diary from 12th June to find out more about how this is done), and some biological sampling. This (dive 62) was the deepest of this leg at a whopping 4500m!

It also meant that Isis would be under the most pressure on this dive, so it was a chance to try out more polystyrene cup squashing! That set me thinking though – if polystyrene cups are shrunken due to the forces on them, then why are the organisms that live at the bottom of the sea not?

Polystyrene has lots of air spaces and these get squashed when under pressure. Biological cells are mostly made of water though and water (unlike air) is incompressible. So I decided to test this by sending down some pieces of fruit – can you work out what should happen?

Sure enough, you can see that the fruit remained completely intact: the water inside the cells will push outwards just as much as it is pushed in by the pressure of the seawater – no smoothies for me today!

Suzie helps to prepare the cups for launch

Leighton fixes the cups to Isis

Finding Nemo - before (left) and after (right)

What will happen to fruit at depth?

Nothing!! The frruit afterwards appears the same as before

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