Scientists at Sea  
September
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Sept. 11, 2005
Jim Cowen

The weather cooperated today and we were able to launch our first dive. Alvin was in the water at ~0815 hrs with Alvin pilot Bruce Strickrott and scientists Earl Davis and Bob Meldrum (both from the Geological Survey of Canada). Their objectives included primarily exchanging hydrogeological instruments on three IODP borehole CORK observatories. Because the observatory platforms had sunk deeper into the surrounding sediments than expected, some of the manipulations required of the pilot were particularly challenging. These same conditions will continue to present challenges to pilots and scientists on the other dives to these same platforms. Fortunately, all of this dive’s objectives were achieved. Back on the mother ship, Atlantis, we recovered some equipment sent to the surface from the seafloor by the Alvin using an “elevator” (attached floatation to the equipment and let it go); and performed a CTD-rosette cast to 10 m above seafloor (2600 m deep) to collect some near bottom seawater for background studies. Of course we are also always getting ready for subsequent dives, by setting up equipment and testing, retesting and calibrating the equipment. Three full meals (no chance of starvation on this ship) round out the day.