MBARI Ridges 2005 Expedition

Juan de Fuca Leg: August 7–18, 2005
Gorda Leg: August 22–September 2, 2005

August 7, 2005

Transit Day. We departed Newport Oregon at 08:00, and after crossing the bar at the mouth of Yaquina Bay (image on right), we turned to a heading of 290 degrees, and maintained 10.5 to 11 knots for the rest of the day. Our estimated time of arrival is about 09:00 tomorrow. It was overcast with light winds and swells just over a meter. We have eleven in the science party. One is from Sweden, two are from Canada, three call Newport, Oregon their home, and the rest of us are Californians.

This is Laura's first time at sea. Her first impressions are:

Today was my first day at sea on the Western Flyer. Before we left shore, I was concerned about becoming sea-sick, but I've been fortunate and have been feeling rather well (for the most part!). What I didn't really think about beforehand was the fact that I would have to re-master the art of walking, and in the case of showering, the art of standing up! We will keep steaming ahead through the night and anticipate our arrival at the Juan de Fuca ridge sometime in the morning. During the dives, I will be partly responsible for keeping a log of where the ROV Tiburon is located each time a sample is taken. Having been aboard for the past couple of days, I'm coming to have an appreciation of how much preparation and organization a cruise like this entails. It's quite something!

Yesterday we loaded the ship with all our gear: boxes of lab supplies, microscopes, office supplies, computers, preservatives and glass jars for the biology specimens, Bill Chadwick's instruments and elevators, and our rock crusher.

Equipment lashed down to the aft deck of the ship. Our rock crusher is in the wooden crate, parts for the instruments that Bill Chadwick will be replacing at Axial Seamount and flotation spheres (yellow "hard-hats") are in the metal cages, and the elevator for lifting the instruments he'll be recovering from the sea floor is the assemblage of black tubes.

After unpacking the gear and tying it all down yesterday, we went for a hike at Yaquina Head, the headland to the north of Newport. We were delighted to find columnar basalts and volcanic breccias similar to what we might be finding in the deep sea, only they erupted above water here!
--Jenny Paduan

Left image: Yaquina Head lighthouse, on our hike in the bright sunshine yesterday. Right image: Columnar jointing in a rosette pattern, overlain by layered sands and volcanic breccias at Yaquina Head.

Members of the science party on a field trip to Yaquina Head.


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