Monday, September 6, 2010

Back to Hawaii & other things on my mind

It's about a week to the end of the cruise. We picked up all the seismometers and are on our way back to Hawaii. Life on the langseth is a little less hectic now. I had a lot of fun retrieving the seismometers and speaking with Jimmy Elsenbeck on very interesting features of the device that make them withstand large pressures deep down at the bottom of the sea. Impressive devices they are. Sitting down there at the bottom of the sea, at about 5 km for the deepest deployment, the seismometers can withstand pressures as large as 7,000 lbs/sq in. To make that possible they have to be made of thick hard borosilicate glass, yet they float to the surface when remotely activated, despite their being denser than water. We can thank the principle of floatation for that. Just hollow out the insides, get enough air in ( I spare us the math) and we can define a dimension for neutral buoyancy. That's convenient.

I feel that the trip was auspicious despite the two unscheduled transits to Japan due to medical emergencies. For one, I got to participate in the first seismometer deployment. I also picked up the last seismometer. Good times I say. There is now no need to do long shifts. We are cruising at a steady speed of 11 knots towards Hawaii and should be on land in about 6 days. I hear I may get a little land disorientation. Just a little, though.

Life on the Langseth also has a new dimension to it. We have ping pong tournaments. Every one participates, and its fun. Unfortunately, I didn't make it to the finals on any of the games - singles or doubles. Some people are just way better than I am. I guess I'll focus on my soccer skills. Jun, was my favorite though. But one of the WHOI guys won the singles. I guess his eye hand coordination from picking up all those seismometers came in handy.

I look into my screen and I feel it can't be long now. We'll get to Hawaii soon. Not that I haven't enjoyed the trip, but I think I'm about done with the beautiful blue seas, the amazing rush of device deployment, and the tireless hours in the deep bowels of the cruise ship, Langseth. It's time to go home, feel the solid hard ground under my feet, touch the green grass, and take in the whole experience, again and again.

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