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Best Laid Plans

ABOARD THE JOIDES RESOLUTION, EN ROUTE TO THE BERING SEA– So I had a plan for the 13th of July: a topic to write about with some historical relevance and interesting ties to the trip I am currently on. I’ll do my best to incorporate some of that into something today, and you’ll have to forgive the delay in getting to it. Perhaps I should stop making excuses? One of the valuable lessons the JR has taught me is that we must learn to roll with punches. So…

If you didn’t know, the JOIDES Resolution takes her name from the HMS Resolution. The HMS Resolution was a sloop in the British Royal Navy and the ship which Captain James Cook commanded on his second and third voyages. July 13th marks the 237th anniversary of the beginning of her second voyage under his command. But the HMS Resolution carried only 112 people, while the JOIDES Resolution is carrying 126! Okay, we’ll ignore the fact that the JR is more than 4 times the size of her namesake, and we travel in far more comfort and safety than Cook probably could have imagined.

The HMS Resolution (1771-1782), James Cook’s ship, watercolour by midshipman Henry Roberts.

The important point to note is that both ships were on missions of exploration, and were filled with volunteers willing to travel great lengths to forward the cause of scientific understanding. Another more meaningful difference is that Cook’s second voyage took him to the Antarctic, while ours takes us to the Bering Sea. It is difficult to say what information this trip may yield, but it promises to be great, and will fill a void in our current understanding of global climate change.


So what have you been up to, you might ask?
Over the past few days the scientists on board the JR have continued preparing their sampling plans. Think of it as a trip to the store with 30 or so shoppers, purchasing goods for one home. You don’t want everyone to pile up in aisle three looking for toothpaste. We need to share resources, effort and eventually results.

We’ve also been prepping for some of the data collection. I’ve helped clean up cut syringes, prepare rhizones for pore water sampling and various other tasks that are all intended to make things run smoothly when we first have cores to look at.

I’ve also been learning the ins and outs of the video conferencing abilities of the JR. I should be able to contact my classes back in Austell, Georgia, in a few weeks. I look forward to telling them what I am up to, and letting them know I expect them to do some serious work while I am gone! Well, I guess that’s enough for now. I’ll be back soon with more. We should hit our first drilling site some time around 6:00pm local time tomorrow, July 16th. And then the fun really begins. Talk to you soon!

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