Sunday, May 15

It’s been a day and a half since we boarded the Weatherbird II and I still can’t believe this is an opportunity I get to participate in. To pass time, I’ve admired the water color in the Gulf of Mexico change from a light blue to an indigo from the bow while chatting with some of my colleagues. I have never seen water this color before! Kattey and I woke up around 3am to see the stars, decorate our foam heads to send down with the gravity corer, and saw sunrise at 6:30am. I will be working under the stars and full moon tonight during my 12am to 12pm shift when we reach the first site, MV02, under Louisiana around 4am. Just as Professor Brooks and Larson had said, the food is tasty! I can tell the crew is so hardworking to make each research cruise operate smoothly. Captain Boomer gave us the rundown of the ETA, current depth (3,000m), and explanation of the monitors in the bridge. He told us some crazy stories of his excursions at sea. It sounds like hard work, but the crew has told us: it’s all worth it.

Even though the downtime is nice, I’m ready to get dirty doing work!

-Alexis Vargas

The chief engineer, Ian, is pictured in the engine room with a Cummins engine built in WWII.

My colleagues got an exciting tour of the cramped area below deck.

Kattey and I pictured with our decorated foam heads in the long lab! These will soon be shrunken down to a quarter of the original size.

The sunrise around 7am stretched across the east horizon. We were in awe!