Auburn University
Academic Departments Student Services Alumni Research Outreach Diversity
Auburn University

Daily Cruise Journals


October 9, 2009

Erin in the sub

Pictured above is Ms. Erin Edmondson getting ready to travel to the bottom aboard the Johnson Sea-Link II on Thursday, October 8th.

6:30 AM- Breakfast is served (eggs).

8:00 AM- Dr. Ken Halanych and Dominique Cowart visit the ocean in the submersible.

11:00 AM- The submersible Johnson Sea-Link II emerges.

12:30 PM- Lunch is served (cheeseburgers with waffle fries).

4:00 PM- Second launch of the Johnson Sea-Link II is cancelled due to high waves.

5:30 PM- Dinner is served.


N 29.09 / W 88.01


85 F / 29 C

Wind Speed:

Strong winds

Sky Conditions:

High swells and rough seas

Today, is a rough day in the Gulf of Mexico. The team wakes to a ship which is rocking heavily. In fact, several members of the team are sea sick for the first time today and many are managing, but there is definitely uneasiness among the entire crew. As normal, the first submersible is launched, retrieved, and the organisms are sorted and preserved. During their trip, those on the submersible use the BushMaster (see Equipment page for a picture), an amazing piece of equipment which covers a tubeworm colony like an upside-down cup, then uses a sharp wire to slice across the bottom. This leaves the tubeworms and the fauna that live on the tubeworms trapped inside. This fauna is important to many of the researchers; they are interested in further studying the organisms which survive on the tubeworms.

Then, around 3:30 PM the waves begin to pick up and cause the ship to rock and sway even more. Due to the risk associated with the retrieval of the submersible upon its return to the surface, the sub crew cancel this afternoon's launch of the Johnson Sea-Link II. This leaves for a calmer atmosphere on the ship, and allows the crew to begin steaming to our final location.

The day ends earlier than normal as the ship is still rocking furiously and traveling quickly towards the east.