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
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.