Yesterday, began like most days on the ship for me: up early, putting the rosette in the water, taking it out, sampling, steaming to the next location and doing the same thing. We were at station 47, latitude 30° 5’S longitude 170°E. The rosette was in the water and I was trying to write my weekly report back to all the people back on land that fund, support or work with the observations from cruise, when the captain comes up, quietly taps me on the shoulder and asks for a word with me and our deck manager. In the library, he tells us that one of the crewmembers is ill, and needs to leave the ship. We spent the morning trying to figure out how this should be done. The captain made many calls to the land based medical support group they work with as well as to his boss back in San Diego. By the time, the packet was up and our trace metals group had done their cast, it had been decided that we would go to Norfolk Island, Australia (~100 nm away) where medical help was available. We steamed as fast as we could to Norfolk Island, arriving late last night and by 10:30 this morning we were back on station 48, latitude 30° 5’S longitude 170° 30’E. We all hope that the ill member of the crew, one of the people who drove the winch for us, is well taken care of and is recovering.
The one good thing that came out of our detour was that while we were steaming to and from Norfolk Island our science teams were able to catch up on all the water analyses. Now though, we are about a day behind in our measuring. Our goal is to never have spacing between stations any greater than 30 nm (55 km). I will have to keep a close eye on how quickly we are able to make our observations, because we have deadline. No matter what else happens we need to be Tahiti on January 2nd.