This morning we arrive back at the site we visited on Wednesday. The seas are much calmer, the sky less humid, and the sky is mostly cloudy. The sub departs, as usual, at 8:00am. The day on-board the ship is also more laid back. Because these sites were visited on Wednesday, it is less crucial that the researchers bring back a large amount of tubeworms. On this first visit the scientists will be in search for juvenile (young) tubeworms.
The first dive is fairly successful and the crew brings back many tubeworms. They are a little older than the researchers hoped for, but will have to do! Between the first two dives, the research team decides to perform a CTD. This device is lowered deep into the ocean, and slowly emerges. As it rises to the surface it works like a giant, waterproof computer, taking in data about the water. Some data it takes are temperature, depth, pH, and salinity (saltiness).
The remainder of the day is spent packing up the science lab. It is much more involved than unpacking the lab on the first day of the cruise. Now, all of the samples need to be brought back safely, this can be tedious work. Also, tedious is sorting through the materials. Although, many of the researchers are from Auburn University, other labs are a part of this dive as well, including scientists from Penn State, Temple, and Bowdoin College. Like many scientific research, much collaboration took place between these labs throughout the trip. In fact, because they were all located in one relatively small lab together for an entire week, supplies have become quit mixed up!
The final submersible dive takes place from 4:30PM- 7:30PM. However, they are fairly unsuccessful in their hunt for tubeworms. They do not bring up very many organisms. Many scientists are disappointed as they were hoping for more tubeworms to make their research projects complete, however they also welcome a nice, long night of sleep that lay ahead. The team finishes packing up the lab and heads to bed.