Fiji/Lau Expedition
May 15–June 3, 2005

Please visit the Ridge 2000 website for additional information.

May 23, 2005

Today was the second at Hine Hina, our southern most collecting site. We were able to bring up another full complement of organisms thanks to the expertise of the ROV crew.

Lead by expedition leader Will Sellers (photo on right), the team of ten that operates Jason II is a group of highly educated reliable engineers and technicians. This amazing multi-national unit travels all over the world assisting researchers, collecting oceanographic data and conducting repairs. In June 2004, the Jason II group retrieved a failed junction box on the old Trans-Pacific cable that once ran from Hawaii to the U.S. mainland. The previous year they cut the cable 900 miles from Hawaii and installed the box that acts like the end of an extension cord. Attached to the end are seismological sensors and plugs for other input. In the future researchers hope to use this junction to service Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUV's). The box will recharge AUV's batteries and download data in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. These unmanned vehicles will be able to roam about at almost any depth, collecting and sending data back for analysis.

Tonight is movie night. The library will be crowded with videophiles getting their film fix.
–Todd Bliss

Katharine and Shannon hot  tubbin in the South Pacific.

Sunset off the stern. (Photo by T. Bolmer)

The second day in transit has been as relaxing as the first. The chief scientist found time to play a few songs on the guitar.

This delicate Gorgonian, a relative of  coral, is displayed for all to see.


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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)