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Day 9: Kilo Moana


And he’s… out.

I woke up this morning in a rush, knowing that they planned to bring up the elevator full of samples after breakfast. Jessica had a 12-4am shift in the control van, so I had to get ready quietly and in the dark, not wanting to wake her. I ran upstairs to the main lab to see if there were any preparations going on before breakfast.

Only to find out that Jason, Medea, and the elevator were all out of the water, and the ship was steaming on to a new location.

My heart sank. Something must have gone wrong. I left my things in the main lab and trudged to the galley, swaying with the motion of the ship. I found the rest of the science party (the ones who were awake, anyway) sipping coffee glumly.

Kilo Moana was dead.

The site they had found last night, with Marker D and the extinct sulfides, was only a taste of what we would discover. The rest of the area had much of the same: extinct chimneys, a few galatheid (sp?) crabs, brittle stars, and mussels.

Disheartened, Annalouise made the call to bring up Jason at around 3am, and everything was out of the water by 6am. They had picked up five mussels in an attempt to gain something from the site, but those were processed quickly and the dead shells were soon tossed over the side.

The mood was glum and rather bored throughout the rest of the day. I helped write up one of the dive logs for Gilbert, but most of the morning I had nothing to do but watch a tv show I had downloaded a while back. The afternoon was even less exciting – I took a nap.

Dinner was a bit more animated. We had arrived at the next site, ABE, a couple hours previous and were now just waiting on the word of Tito to see whether we could dive. Sunday dinner on the boat was a lively occasion anyways – the cooks prepared a great meal of ribeye steaks, New Zealand mussels (which I didn’t touch – shellfish haven’t been a part of my menu since dissecting a clam in 6th grade), baked potatoes, and broccoli.

Most of the geochemistry crew (and John, who was biology) sat together and discussed stinging nettles, poison ivy, and urchins. I’m not quite sure how we got to the subject, but I will fully admit that it was entertaining. A story got going about peeing on jellyfish stings, which soon got the entire table rolling in belly laughs.

Annalouise appeared soon after, expression grim. “We’re not diving,” she said quietly, looking at Jeff. “Tito doesn’t like the swells, and there’s a squall moving past.”

Jeff and Sean exchanged glances as the rest of us groaned, anticipating another long night of ‘hurry up and wait’. “Did he say anything about when we might be able to go in again?”

Annalouise shook her head. “No. I think we’re waiting on the next weather report.”

Jeff nodded, and the conversation ceased. Niya and I glanced at each other. After dinner, both of us went for our computers.

I paused in the main lab, looking outside as the sun’s light disappeared over the horizon. I pushed open the door and stepped outside to lean on the rail and watch the waves. A squall created a dark line in the distance, almost blocking out the rest of the sunset. Nick, Gilbert and Rick joined me shortly after, and we stood in quiet companionship until the light disappeared.

I took my computer and charger back to the galley, where I joined Niya and Jessica. Niya sat working on a paper while Jessica struggled with an unfamiliar mouse in a (futile) attempt to play Surgeon Simulator.

I couldn’t help but watch. I had never seen the game played before except in highly entertaining gifs and pictures, so we were all laughing within minutes – especially when the ‘doctor’s’ watch dropped off his wrist and draped itself over the ‘patient’s’ face.

We watched for a while longer. The patient bled out soon after Jessica muttered “maybe I should just go at it with the screwdriver”, and another round of giggles ensued.

I got my chance to play and soon got the hang of the mouse and controls, but not so much the dexterity needed to control the tools. My own patient bled out after I dropped the bone saw into his abdomen – not a particularly kind way of killing someone.

They played Settlers of Catan afterwards and I watched for a little while before turning in. No one knew what to expect for tomorrow. It was time to sleep.

Posted by mrh616 18:28 Archived in Tonga Tagged ship jason transit travel_time revelle medea rov

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