Sunday, July 5, 2009

Winding down...

Things have started to wind down for a very busy cruise.  In the past few days, we revisited Tui Malila and Mariner to retrieve the thermocouple arrays and fill in a few gaps in our samples.  At each site we have had to retrieve transponders (devices that enable us to navigate accurately on the seafloor) and have had some difficulty locating these (will elaborate in a later blog!).  Tonight, we’re headed to Tow Cam, the site for our final dive along the Eastern Lau Spreading Center.  We’re excited to realize the cruise is almost over, but also sad.  Sad – because we have made new friends who we’ll have to say good-bye to, but also sad because we don’t know when we’ll be returning to this very interesting deep-sea hydrothermal vent area.

During our last few dives, we spotted some interesting deep-sea animals.  Here are just a few we enjoyed observing ….