September 25th: Second Transit
Written By Dan Suthers September 25, 2004
Today we were in transit from Laysan Island to Pearl and Hermes Atoll, bypassing Lisianski Island, which we will visit on our return. No field work was conducted, except for night operations (Towed Optical Assessment Device; and Conductivity, Temperature and Depth). The scientists used the day to catch up on organizing their data and samples. Everyone was also required to write an interim report on their activities to be submitted to the chief scientists Peter Vroom and Randy Kosaki. A major report on the entire expedition must be submitted after it is over, and the chief scientists would like to have this report finished when we dock in Honolulu.
We were unable to make any Internet connections today, and possibly for the duration of the expedition. Last night I attempted to upload my updates to this web site, but was experiencing a 60% loss of data packets. Part way through the upload, the connection failed and we could not re-establish it. Today, the Electronics Technician, Mike Crumley, gave me the bad news: the Inmarsat may have failed, as he gets no signal from the equipment today. There is discussion of flying in parts to meet us at Midway, but the Sept. 30th flight may have been canceled. A list of services on Midway indicates that I may be able to get a reasonably priced connection while we are on that island. I will continue to prepare daily updates in the hope that we will find some way of getting them to you.
Web Writer's Office at Sea
Equipment includes two Apple Powerbook G4s, an Apple 22" Cinema monitor, and four Sony cameras (DSC-F717, DSC-P9 with underwater case, DSC-U60, and DCR-PC105 Handycam)
|Left of monitor: office supplies and specimen to be photographed. Front of monitor: camera charging and uploading station. Right of monitor: laptop "server rack" constructed from cardboard strips and duct tape, media storage, and library. I edit and run a local copy of this web site on the lower laptop and carry the upper one to meetings.
During the afternoon and evening I conducted interviews of coral biologists Greta Aeby and Jean Kenyon, and read some articles they have published with colleagues. After dinner, we met to plan our operations at Pearl and Hermes Atoll, where we will be for the next five days. Tomorrow the Education team will help the Mooring team with a buoy replacement, and accompany the Towboard team in the afternoon. This should give us a good overview of operations as well as of the Atoll.
Just after sunset we had a special treat. Some of the ship's emergency flares were expiring (after a certain age, they must be replaced with new ones). The crew invited us up on deck to observe their "disposal," and a few of us had the opportunity to learn how to launch them!