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Say "Cheese" Deep beneath the Pacific

The ride in the submersible Alvin is cozy, with just enough space for three people. Mark Spear, an Alvin pilot, snapped this shot standing up as the submersible returned to the surface of the Pacific in January 2008 after a dive. The trip takes an hour and a half, and during that time the pilot shuts down unneeded systems, updates computer logs, fills out paperwork, secures equipment, and prepares Alvin to return to its host vessel, Atlantis, once on the surface. “There is usually plenty of time left over to relax and if everyone is in agreement, take some posed photos,” Spear said. Happily resting their heads on the pilot's seat are Kang Ding, a geochemist with the University of Minnesota (left), and Erin Seyfried, who works with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in Seattle (but on this cruise, she was working on behalf of the University of Minnesota).

(Photo by Mark Spear, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)


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