1 May, 1999
It was turning out to be an exciting day - - our last at Hook Ridge. There was
some reluctance to this acknowledgement…all of the signs had been so promising…if we just had more time, but time is like a liquid, ever flowing and
it does not yield easily, even when you try to squeeze it just a little more…so
the ZAPS team worked on through breakfast, trying to pin down the source of the
plume…I was beginning to think of it more and more as the Dresden, reincarnated
geologically. I turned in, exhausted, feeling guilty that I could while they continued on…it had been over 14 hours easily, more for some.
When I awoke, the sea-floor sampling team had collected their final TV-grab for
the day - - everyone was very excited, as the temperature was obviously pretty high - - the sediment was steaming in the cold Antarctic air. Someone thrust a
thermometer in and yelled out “42 degrees!” This meant “pay dirt” for the GEOMAR/Frieberg team, as it exceeded their hopes of obtaining hot sediment by several degrees. For all of us, it served as further corroboration that hydrothermal venting was occurring in the area. After all the coring and sampling had been done, several of us put our hands in the sediment. It was hot enough to be uncomfortable at some points, an amazing consideration in light of the below zero water that chills it at the bottom of the ocean. We went in and obtained the pore water samples, having moved the whole operation into a wet lab from the scientific cooler (where it had been when the sediments
were hovering around the freezing point) - - no sense in freezing ourselves while working with hot sediments!
After finishing with the pore water samples, I collected my video equipment and
worked on digitizing pictures from the video which I have been taking. This is
fairly time-intensive and by the time I had finished, the ZAPS team had deployed and ZAPS was hovering mere meters from the ocean floor. When I finished the video digitizing, I rejoined the team in the lab. I pulled out a copy of the Iliad that I had bought for this trip and began reading it. I thought I would have time for it, but have only had a few moments for reading.
Most of my reading has been “catch-up” reading on the geology or hydrography of
the Bransfield Strait. I wanted to read it because while preparing for the trip, I ran across Tennyson’s poem Ulysses (another name for Homer’s Odysseus of the Iliad and the Odyssey) on several occasions. I’ll share a few of the lines that have grabbed me several times is the past 2 years of preparation:
“I cannot rest from travel: I will drink
Life to the lees: all times I have enjoy’d
Greatly, have suffer’d greatly, both with those
That loved me, and alone; on shore, and when
Thro’ scudding drifts the rainy Hyades
Vex’d the dim sea. . .
…I am a part of all that I have met;
Yet all experience is an arch wherethro’
Gleams that untravell’d world, whose margin fades
For ever and for ever when I move.
How dull it is to pause, to make an end,
To rust unburnish’d, not to shine in use!
As tho’ to breathe were life. Life piled on life
Were all too little, and of one to me
Little remains: but every hour is saved
From that eternal silence, something more…
…And this gray spirit yearning in desire
To follow knowledge like a sinking star,
Beyond the utmost bound of human thought…
…There lies the port: the vessel puffs her sail:
There gloom the dark broad seas. My mariners,
Souls that have toil’d, and wrought, and thought with me…
…The lights begin to twinkle from the rocks:
The long day wanes: the slow moon climbs: the deep
Moans round with many voices. Come, my friends…
…It may be that the gulfs will wash us down:
It may be that we shall touch the Happy Isles,
And see the great Achilles, whom we knew.
Tho’ much is taken, much abides, and tho’
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven; that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.”
The poem has been the favorite of many explorers. It is no wonder to me.
To my students, and other students, I invite you to consider the archway that beckons you forward, move forward - don’t rust unburnished. Take advantage of the opportunities, for life is more than breathing, than the bare functions of the body, let us add to this the sublime pleasure of pursuing knowledge like a star that moves ever before us, striving, seeking, finding, and not yielding.
Come, my friends,
Latitude (S): 62 11.4 Longitude (W): 57 16.9 Time (GMT): 2001
Depth (m): 1015 Temp (C ): 1.3 Barometer (mbars):983.8
Wind Speed (m/s, knots): 8.3 16.2 Wind Direction (degrees): 330
Salinity (ppt): 34.0 Relative Humidity (%): 88
Student Weather Station
Barometer (mbars): 991.5
Temperature (Celsius): 2.4
Relative Humidity (%): 85.8
Have you tried plotting the data against each other? Hmmmm...interesting results. Suggestions?
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