Life is pretty routine now that we're over a week in. We travel from seamount to seamount, survey and name them, and then dredge promising looking places. Every dredge has come up differently so far: we've lost one, gotten one tangled, got pelagic ooze, only sediments, only manganese nodules, pillow basalts, or some combination of those and other rocks. We've also pulled up some corals and even a starfish. I believe we've dredged 13 times now. We have been naming the seamounts after characters in Moby-Dick or other whale-inspired names since Walvis means whale in Dutch (we're studying the Walvis Ridge if I haven't mentioned that).
If you click on one of the links in my last post before I left, you can see some deck cameras, and the one of the rear hanger with the A-frame is where we deploy and pull up the dredge. The dredging itself is not too exciting, we sit and watch the tension of the wire, bottom depth, how much wire is out and other data (on screens inside) as we travel over the dredge tract and then pull up the dredge and hope there are some good rocks. For a couple of dredges I was allowed to control the winch, which was kind of cool, though not really as exciting as it sounds.
One of my favorite jobs so far is throwing the rejected rock samples overboard. That may sound silly, but it allows me to get outside and just throw rocks into the gorgeous water. Another favorite on the ship is in the food department: the Elvis Cake one of the cooks made yesterday. It's basically banana cake with chocolate chips and peanut butter frosting. It was amazing, but also means that all of the bananas have basically gone bad. But that's ok because we still have other fresh fruit which I will continue to eat copious amounts of since by the end of the cruise, the food will not be based so much off of fresh produce.
I know this is kind of a random post, but I thought I'd email something in to document what's going on out here in the south Atlantic (I can't actually access my blog out here- I basically can only access email).