Fiji/Lau Expedition
May 15–June 3, 2005

Please visit the Ridge 2000 website for additional information.

May 19, 2005

After a successful day of collecting at a site called Tow Cam, overnight we moved south to a new collecting site called Tui Malila, named for a former Tongan king-god. These 1,890-meter deep series of collecting sites are part of the Lau basin, located just west of the island nation of Tonga. Scientists hope to find a variety of new species to describe as well as to collect more specimens for ecological, anatomical, or genetic comparisons with previous expeditions. 

The crew of the RV Melville does an outstanding job. This highly educated group of sea loving professionals performs wonders. The most amazing is Ed Miller (photo on right) the gray haired , rock and roll loving chef. Ed and his staff whip up three nutritious, tasty, plentiful meals a day without any complaints. If the cook isn't complaining and the crew "ain't gripe'n", things are going well. The men and women on the bridge magically keep the Melville directly above Jason II when deployed. High seas constantly rock, push and twist this 100 meter vessel. As if Merlin waved his wand, we never move off plumb. 
–Todd Bliss

Mussels and snails huddle together to filter sulfur rich seawater.

White landscape of bacterial mats.

Amanda Jones wonders how the mussels would taste.

Dan (the computer man) Jacobson and Bob Vrijenhoek watch Shana Goffredi prepare samples for analysis.

Techs Dara Scott, Tom Bolmer, and Dan Jacobson performing some magic of their own.

3rd mate Melisa Turner in control of the Melville.


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This expedition has been made possible by National Science Foundation grants to Dr. Robert Vrijenhoek (NSF OCE-0241613) and Dr. Cindy Van Dover (NSF OCE-0350554)