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Sunset and Beacon Catch



ABOARD THE JOIDES RESOLUTION, ON THE BERING SEA– It’s amazing how after two months on a boat with the same people day in and day out how your nerves start to get a little rattled. Not that we aren’t getting along, it’s just the lack of something new. The slightest hint of something bad or good happening at home and I start to get a little frustrated that I am not there to deal with things. Add a bad video camera into the mix and you might have a really bad mood.

The camera decided to reject the disk that was in it with about 30 minutes worth of video I had shot over the last few days. Needless to say I was a little annoyed.

Luckily the Logging Engineer talked some sense into me and I didn’t see how far I could throw the camera into the ocean. Clay has all sorts of Sony video processing software on his computer, so he took the disk to see what he could salvage. The bad news was that nothing on the disk was recoverable, but the good news was that I was able to reformat it and continue my video diary. Thanks Clay! Mood salvaged!

We had just greeted the arrival of the last core on deck for the expedition, and everyone’s spirits were high. My mood had picked up considerably after I realized I could once again take more video clips. So after figuring which files were lost I decided to enjoy the last sunset on site, and depending on the weather, possibly the last visible sunset of our expedition. Turns out I was not alone.

We watched the sun slowly sink in the distance. Partly obscured by clouds, there was no green flash to be seen. But that didn’t stop our enjoyment. The sky flared beautifully as the last of the light faded beneath the blue horizon. It was symbolic of the sun setting on our trip. The days are few before we hit Japan. And then we go our separate ways.

And to add to the beauty of the evening, the beacon was coming up at the same time. So we were able to watch its recovery. The beacon is a device that emits a high frequency ping to let the JR know where we are as a redundant back up to the GPS system. It is dropped to the ocean floor when we first arrive on site. Before we leave each site the beacon releases the weight it is attached to, and rises to the surface and the talented crane operators and crew recover the beacon so it can be used again. It was a quick and flawless recovery.

Now I need to get some rest and prepare for the transit home. The work here is not done, but we are one step closer.


Sunset over the Bering Sea.


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