heat flow · Science Cruise · scientists · seismic survey

SOUTHWARD BOUND IN CONFUSED (ANGRY) SEAS

We have successfully made it to our site along the southeastern side of the North Island. The final push on heat flow in the north was tricky, with We a ~12 hour pause in science due to “confused (or angry) seas”. This means high swells (+3.5m) in multiple directions. The heat flow measurements in the north were completed under these conditions, and yesterday we began our transit to the south. Again I am grateful for the scopolamine patch! Several people did not feel well on the transit because of the rough waters, but it did not affect me.

Maneuvering the ship is quite entertaining during high swells. There are times when you feel weightless walking the halls or stairs (you can easily skip steps), and other times when you can barely open the doors or feel ~500lbs as you climb stairs. Gotta love gravity.

While we were still on “watch” during transit, we did not necessarily work. We sat in the computer lab with a Andrew’s speakers and subwoofer and watched Pompeii. There is little more comical than a group of geologists watching a movie based on a geologic event. While I understand the “need” for Hollywood drama in movies, I find it unfortunate that they distort the facts so much – particularly for an event that is well-documented. Furthermore, the general public does not seem to be able to distinguish fact from fiction, and often believe whatever they see in the movies or on TV.

We arrived in the south at ~9am this morning. And we really could not have asked for a better day. It is sunny, almost warm, and the swells are only 0.7m – I am pretty sure these are the calmest waters we have been in since we left port in Auckland. We will complete one heat flow transect tomorrow morning, and then begin another 3-day seismic survey. By Wednesday we should continue with heat flow transects until we need to begin our transit to port (essentially until the evening of the 16th). Here is hoping that the weather stays nice – although that might be wishful thinking. This area is known for its windy weather and rough seas.

Back to work for now. I will try to write a bit more regularly between now and our return to port.

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