February 20, 2004

Friday was the first full day of transition back to 'normalcy', as we head east to Puntarenas, Costa Rica. The four and a half day voyage gives the Atlantis crew and science party a chance to clean up any loose ends from the data acquisition portion of the cruise, begin analyzing the data collected, and offers a much needed opportunity to relax.

Patrick Hennessy, the Bosun, with his 50 lb. catch of yellowfin tuna this morning.

As many of the science party took the liberty of sleeping a little later this morning, the deck crew was up attending to business as usual. Business a usual, today, included a little fishing. With the help of some deck hands, Patrick Hennessy, the Bosun, was able to haul in a 50 pound tuna. Quite a catch!

Soon after the scientists rolled out of bed, many found themselves busy cleaning up and packing away the equipment that served them well over the last 18 days. Empty boxes from the science hold were dragged out and filled with batteries, winches, tools, rocks, and unused bags. All to be recovered in San Diego after Atlantis' return at the end of April. By the end of the day, the entire rock lab had been returned to its initial spic & span condition. The biologists also worked hard to stow a majority of their equipment.

Alvin Expedition Leader, Pat Hickey, and his pilots and technicians began servicing Alvin. The sail was hoisted and removed to provide access to different equipment and additional mandatory maintenance began in preparation for the next cruise.

The sail was hoisted from Alvin this morning to allow the crew access for maintenance. The center photo shows the hatch that leads into Alvin. Members of the engineering department were busy with maintenance as usual.

In the afternoon the science party met to discuss the details of the cruise report and sharing of the digital data collected throughout the dives and camera tows. The team hopes to have a significantly complete cruise report by the time they reach Puntarenas. Also discussed were the important, but yet undisclosed, cruise t-shirt production plans. The creators plan to unveil the design on Sunday in time for a Monday mass-production.

Adam Soule and Hans Schouten weigh-in on the heavily debated "origin of sheet-flows" question.

In the afternoon science, Alvin and crew members alike were found visiting the 'OOL' (no P in the pool...), that was erected on the fantail a couple of days ago for the trip back. The break from data collection also allowed some to visit the small but ample gym. It was reported that there was a queue for the previously neglected rowing machine. (It has yet to be ascertained if the rowing machine contributes to the speed of the ship). Also outside, the chin-up bar was getting full use as people used any excuse to soak up a little sun.

Expedition Leader and lifeguard, Pat Hickey keeps a watchful eye over the Atlantis pool, wary that horseplay is liable to breakout at any moment.

John MacLennan is joined by The Perfit "brothers" for a rigorous workout. Stace Beaulieu and Ken Sims take advantage of the chin-up bar on the fantail.

Although the return trip will last three more days it is guaranteed to go as fast as the rest of the cruise because there is much to be done. But, most definitely, it will be a more relaxed as the hard work is finally finished.

Javier wishes Darren Buck of Reno, Nevada a Happy Birthday!


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