Thursday, March 29, 2012

Life in the lab with Magic 8 Ball

[Ed. note: He says to just call him 8.]

Hey there! 8 here hanging out in the main lab on the Langseth. We’ve been in transit to the study site for a few days so there hasn’t been much excitement around here (yet). Well, unless you count the first day out when there were people... experiencing unpleasantness. All over the ship. Thankfully, that seems to be over now.

So, I pretty much just hang out in the lab all the time, ready to offer my insight whenever it’s needed to help the people make important decisions. It’s a key role, let me tell you. Mainly, we keep track of the navigation, seafloor mapping devices, sea conditions, wind conditions, and such. It’s been pretty smooth going thus far – I haven’t gone rolling around too much. Pretty soon we’ll be starting up the airguns and getting the hydrophone streamer deployed so then it will be a bit busier in here. I just hope it doesn’t get too crazy – don’t want to get knocked onto the floor. Oh- hold on. I’m being consulted.

Question: Should I go up to the mess for another cookie?

Is she serious? –sigh- Well, first of all, people hardly ever give me enough information to work with. How many cookies has this person already had? Is she supposed to be on a diet? What kind of cookies are we talking about? I’ll bet she just wants someone to confirm her desire for another cookie. I’m not so sure I should be encouraging that sort of thing, though. But then again, what’s it to me if she can’t fit into her pants anymore?

Answer: Signs point to yes.

I like that one. See, then it’s the fault of the “signs,” not me, if this person gets fat. Ha ha! Covering my butt (if I had one)!

Anyway, where was I? Oh yes, upcoming excitement when we start shooting. I have to be ready in case the people need to ask me about airgun pressures or streamer channel testing – stuff like that. Wait a sec – I’m being consulted again.

Question: Should we go deploy a XBT now?

Well, we do need to do that at some point today. Oh, and for the uninitiated, he means an expendable bathythermograph (measures ocean temperature). The hydrosweep bathymetry mapping system uses the XBT data to know what the speed of the acoustic source is through the water at different depths. Still, do it now or wait a while?

Answer: Reply hazy, try again.

I like to mess with them sometimes, heheh. Ok, ok, he’s asking again. All right, fine.

Answer: Yes, definitely.

So, you see what my day is like here. Highly important consultations, non-stop. And we haven’t even gotten to the study site yet. Speaking of consultations-

Question: Will there be cheeseburgers at dinner tonight?

I happen to know that we just had them for lunch yesterday. Plus, there’s a menu board that tells you what we are going to have. Jeez, people, think before asking me silly questions like that.

Answer: My sources say no.

Ok, I’d better sign off since I keep getting interrupted. One last question: Will I return to write (challenging job without hands, by the way) another entry later in the cruise?

Answer: Better not tell you now.

(Ha ha! Gotcha!)

(Ok, just kidding.)

Answer: Most likely.

Well, maybe. We’ll see. I might be too busy. Anyway, that’s all for now.


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