DrGw390 – last stop, Site U1559

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May 29, 2022 by Dr. G

(*If you missed my first post on my JOIDES Resolution adventure, I encourage you to start with DrGw390 – Week of quarantine. All posts will be tagged with #DrGw390.)

We spent from May 19 thru May 23 traveling to and coring at U1559. This post has a collection of my tweets from the coring at our final site for Expedition 390, our part of the South Atlantic Transect.

And on May 19, we were off to our final site of ocean drilling.

I had so many tours during this period, with so many excellent questions from students. Thank you, teachers, for preparing your students so well for their ship-to-shore connections with the JR! There was one questions in particular that stood out for me…

May 21 was when we arrived at the final Site U1559. Alas, we wouldn’t stay here for very long…

Before we started drilling, it was time for a ship tour – and a surprising find for me!

I’m still investigating this… I hope I can get back down there to see this piece of equipment again!

I can’t take tours down to the engine room or other restricted areas, but the kids on the tours are much more interested in other parts of the ship, such as the expedition logos in the stairwell.

Then, the activity on the rig floor started to shift…

What I didn’t post on social media (that we were all waiting to see how to officially share) is that on May 23, at 1315, “Bearing failed on the forward Elmagco brake.” Although we had another break to work with and could have continued, if that remaining break failed, that would have been the end of not just our expedition but most likely also part 2 of the South Atlantic Transect, Expedition 393. With 393 scheduled to depart Cape Town in early June, we had no choice but to trip pipe and call and end to our expedition. We packed up and started our transit to port.

I can’t begin to describe the immense sadness across the entire ship. Yes, there were tears. It was all so sudden. We knew this was our last site, but it was cut short so quickly, and we found out via email. How do you begin to process news like this? We only drilled in two holes at Site U1559, recovering 15 cores total. The next expedition will start their coring at U1559 to get the basement material we were not able to recover – assuming the replacement/repairs go smoothly. The replacement part is on its way via air freight from Houston, Texas. Keep your fingers-crossed that this 14-ton part gets to Cape Town and replaced on the ship very quickly.

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Finished this fun data visualization/quilt top that shares the daily Sky Cover measurements from @joides_resolution #EXP390. As sky cover is recorded in units zero to eight, I chose eight different batik fabrics to represent the scale (the deepest blue batik for the blue sky, and the darkest/black batik for when the sky was completely clouded over, and all shades of blue/grey in-between). As the expedition officially was April 7 thru June 7, 2022, there are 62 pieces of data/batik strips. The background fabric is filled with golden stars for the sky, and the bright gold border is my nod to our port city, where the fabric was purchased.
Thank you @SciHistoryOrg for hosting Start Talking Science 2022 - so great to be able to present alongside other Philly scientists about the work we do to a non-STEM audience of all ages! And a great opportunity to share the mission and how we do science at sea on @theJR #EXP390 #EXP393
Back at @pennlivearts this evening to hear the @blindboysofalabama - so incredible, so inspirational! The new songs were great, but my all-time favorite will always be Amazing Grace sung to The House of the Rising Sun (check it out if you have never heard this innovative mashup).
🎼 I love live New Orleans jazz - and tonight, I didn’t have to go to New Orleans, as the jazz came to me! 🎶 Such a fun concert by @newbreed_brassband. 🎵 The best part - the sousaphone player’s high school band teacher was there & brought his trumpet on stage and joined them for a few songs. 🎺 After the first song, he said he was getting emotional, as he was so proud of the group. I get it, teacher, I’m there with you.
Added something new to my teaching space this fall - images of @joides_resolution, expedition patches, and the combined IODP, ODP, & DSDP drill site map! Thanks so much to Brittany (JRSO) for updating the map and getting the sites for #EXP390 & #EXP393 on there! Excited to have these in place before doing a ship-to-shore broadcast later this month (it will be a little strange being on the other side of the iPad this time, but can't wait to share this experience with my students).
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