- Cream o’ wheat
- Canadian bacon and egg muffins
- Grilled ham and cheese
- Chicken/tuna salad wraps
- corned beef and cabbage
- lentil soup
- chicken noodle soup
- salad bar
- Cranberry glazed pork loin roast
- Mashed potatoes and gravy
- cheese manicotti
- rice pilaf
- salad bar
Calm seas, winds picking up in the afternoon to around 30-35 knots.
St. Helen’s Seamount, 41° 14.30′ by 148° 49.09′
We finally got back in the water with Jason today! Immediately after hitting the bottom, it was evident why this seamount has been so heavily fished – there are fish everywhere! Lots of orange roughy, whiptails, rays, and even sharks! We actually had sharks circling Medea for pretty much the entire dive; it might be because they’re attracted to the electromagnetic radiation put out from the tethers, or it might e that they’re just waiting for the occasional fish that gets shredded in one of Jason’s thrusters… Either way it was much more lively than the other seamounts we had visited – and during the first watch, the fish received much more interest than the objective of finding solitaries. Not that this mattered much, because the numbers of solitaries were astonishingly low here. This could be because of the overfishing, but also probably because solitaries are less abundant at 1,000 meters and above. We managed to collect one live Caryophillia, an isidid and some black coral, I believe, but the catch was severely limited.
Unfortunately, we had to cut the dive short due to several problems with Jason. During our watch, three of Jason’s thrusters consistently cut out every 5 minutes, a dangerous problem in an area with many ledges and ravines. The other issues were navigational – both the nav and the doppler sonar were intermittent. Power had to be diverted every once in a while to revive the doppler, and there was no fix for the nav while the computers were up and running. So the Jason crew decided to go into “layback mode,” which basically means that Jason comes up a hundred or so meters off the floor, and gets towed behind the ship, which is moving at a very slow speed of 0.3 knots or so. At this point, all of the computers in the van were rebooted to see if this would fix the problem, and unfortunately it didn’t, so we had to cancel the dive.
It turns out that the errors are associated with the leap year – the computers didn’t like the 366th day and decided to poop out on us – so we’re headed back in tomorrow for a short dive, and then we’ll head down to Cascade where some fair weather awaits us. After that, our plans are still mostly up in the air; at our next scheduled location, the weather is supposed to stay bad until into next week, so we’ll wait for a report while we’re diving at Cascade and decide from there where to go.
New Year’s came early for us on the boat – a whole 16 hours ahead of the East Coast of the US – and probably one of the earliest on the globe! Unfortunately, a lot of the crew had work to do, so there was minimal celebration. Apparently there were fireworks on the mainland that some crew saw from the boat, but on board the Thompson it was a relatively quiet affair. Nonetheless, it’s 2009 – time for some new resolutions, and I know several people on this boat whose resolution is to not spend another holiday season at sea!!
An eight-letter synonym for boring consists of three consecutive notes of the musical scale (do, re, mi, fa, so, la, and ti) plus the letters “ME”. What is it?