ALIA Expedition
Samoan Seamounts -- R/V Kilo Moana -- KM0506

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Rocks and buckets and Julie

Dredge Weaklink
Blake English

Samoan Hotspot Risk
Alison Koleszar

Making your move ...

Julie and Rhea slumber in the hallways

Dredging off the Wallis Island, we watched as dredge 127 picked up rock after rock.  There is a very distinctive tension spike and relief that usually corresponds to the dredge grabbing something off the bottom.  These “bites” consist of a moderate building of tension and then a rapid drop.  On the tension graph, they look like shark fins. 

Dredge 127 was a textbook dredge, with perfectly shaped bites coming one after another.  The only problem was on the very last bite, there was no sharp drop in tension.  In fact, it increased.  We were stuck again, and out of options, we began to use physiological warfare. The Rolling Stones got the whole process moving again and we had the dredge on the way back in no time. 

Once the dredge was on deck, we set a course for Savai’i, starting as soon as possible on the sixteen hour transit. Unfortunately, it was about this time that an announcement was made over the ship’s speakers: There was a problem with the waist treatment plant, and some of the toilets were not working.  A little later, it was announced that all toilets in the science staterooms were inoperable.  Finally, all toilets on the aft section of the ship were declared unusable, and everyone stationed there would have to use the head in the laundry room. Luckily, the problem was solved within a few hours, traced back to a paper towel that someone had carelessly flushed.

With sixteen hours of transit time on our hands, we looked for things to do onboard (besides laundry).  Because of rain, couldn’t go outside so, eventually, a game of Risk was started, but with a twist: we used a bathymetric map we had created as the board.  The game of Samoan Hotspot Risk was an intense inter-seamount war, occasionally overrunning onto islands, such as Tutuila, which was the site of an immense invasion and subsequent battle.  Ultimately, Scott McBride was victorious, defeating Ryan Delaney for control of seamount SMNT –132S – 1725W, and completing his dominance over the Samoan seamount chain. Hopefully tomorrow's dredge will not get hung up too much...

Blake English onboard the R/V Kilo Moana.