Photo & Video Log

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(HR) = "High Resolution" images available.


camera icon Video & Slideshows

Animation describing the Autonomous Benthic Explorer (ABE) vehicle.

video How We've Used ABE
Animation describing the Autonomous Benthic Explorer (ABE) vehicle.

Slideshow of some of the stunning landscape images captured by Chris German on April 21.

video April 21 Log
Slideshow of some of the stunning landscape images captured by Chris German on April 21.

 

 

Images

 Dawn backlights the Andes as we slip quietly into port at first light.

April 30 Log
Dawn backlights the Andes as we slip quietly into port at first light. (HR)

Like any working port, Valparaiso boasts the usual mix of high-rise buildings and large ships – but not many have quite such a striking backdrop!

April 30 Log
Like any working port, Valparaiso boasts the usual mix of high-rise buildings and large ships... (HR)

It would be way too cheesy to sign off with a sunset photograph – but this one was so spectacular that I thought I should at least included it as my penultimate photo.

April 30 Log
It would be way too cheesy to sign off with a sunset photograph – but this one was so spectacular... (HR)

OK, so you have been good: so here is the long-promised photo of me with the most distinctive hat seen at sea all cruise (perhaps, all my career!).

April 30 Log
OK, so you have been good: so here is the long-promised photo of me with the most distinctive hat seen at sea all cruise.

Chris, Tim and Dana chained earnestly to their laptops and finding completely different things of interest in exactly the same data sets.

April 29 Log
Chris, Tim and Dana work their laptops and find different things of interest in the same data sets.  (HR)

 

 

 

This way to New Zealand!  We know plenty about the land that lies due West from here, but little to nothing about what lives in the ocean all along the way.

April 29 Log
We know plenty about the land that lies due West from here, but little about what lives in the ocean. (HR)

At times this afternoon the water was so calm it felt like you would be able to SEE a pin-drop from the ripples it would impart.

April 29 Log
At times this afternoon the water was so calm it felt like you would be able to SEE a pin-drop. (HR)

Safe home.  Sentry lands back on deck at the end of its final dive for this cruise.

April 29 Log
Is it a whale?  A seal?  A sea-lion?  None of the above – these are Magellanic Penguins playing. (HR)

Going down?  The seafloor on the left is less than 5m below Sentry in this photo taken at approximately 2700m below the sea-surface.

April 29 Log
Going down?  The seafloor on the left is less than 5m below Sentry in this photo taken ~ 2700m below the surface.  (HR)

Safe home.  Sentry lands back on deck at the end of its final dive for this cruise.

April 27 Log
Safe home.  Sentry lands back on deck at the end of its final dive for this cruise. (HR)

 

 

 

Javier, Keith, Ben and Eulogoio bring the precious sediment samples from the multi-corer safely on board.

April 26 Log
Javier, Keith, Ben and Eulogoio bring the precious sediment samples from the multi-corer safely on board.  (HR)

A quiet 30-second moment in the middle of our final CTD cast.

April 26 Log
A quiet 30-second moment in the middle of our final CTD cast. (HR)

 

 

 

 

Here’s the map that Sentry made overnight – or rather, the first-cut version of the map that Dana made after lunch today using the data acquired by Sentry overnight.

April 25 Log
First-cut version of the map that Dana made after lunch today using the data acquired by Sentry overnight. (HR)

OAir traffic control, 3000 meters below sea level. This shows a zoom in of our navigation screens from around midnight last night when Sentry, operating in the top left corner of the middle block of data it collected in the previous image, flew directly beneath the CTD and ship that were heading due south.

April 25 Log
Air traffic control, 3000 meters below sea level. (HR)

Sentry engineers Andy (left) and Justin (right) making final preparations to Sentry out on deck, ready for deployment.

April 25 Log
Sentry engineers Andy and Justin making final preparations to Sentry out on deck, ready for deployment. (HR)

TowCam engineer John making similar final preparations for TowCam. As soon as Sentry is overboard tonight, TowCam will follow fast behind, surveying a different part of the seabed and sending images straight back to the operators aboard ship while Sentry stores its photos onboard its own computers to await return to the ocean surface on Friday.

April 25 Log
TowCam engineer John making similar final preparations for TowCam. (HR)

Ron at the rosette collecting samples for helium isotope analysis.

April 24 Log
Ron at the rosette collecting samples for helium isotope analysis. (HR)

Marv collecting samples from the CTD-rosette using a plastic syringe.

April 24 Log
Marv collecting samples from the CTD-rosette using a plastic syringe. (HR)

 

 

Sentry looks truly tiny when it first comes to the surface just ahead of the bow of the ship, 300 meters distant among white-capped wave-tops.

April 23 Log
Sentry looks truly tiny when it first comes to the surface just ahead of the bow of the ship, 300 meters distant. (HR)

Once the ship comes close enough alongside, Al uses a remote control system similar (in principle) to that of a remote control car to drive Sentry in close beside the ship - at which point Andy, assisted by Justin and Tim, use hooks on poles to latch strong lines on to Sentry so that it can be lifted aboard ship.  That bright orange hook on the top of the vehicle is the first place where we need to get Sentry on the end of our line.

April 23 Log
Once the ship comes close enough, Al uses a remote control system to drive Sentry in beside the ship. (HR)

Tim (bottom of picture) handles the line attached to the front of Sentry while Andy uses a fiberglass pole to keep things aligned.  Keith (second from top of picture) overseas operations and gives directions to the crane driver while Justin uses a second pole to prepare to attach the third line to the rear of the vehicle.

April 23 Log
Tim handles the line attached to the front of Sentry while Andy uses a fiberglass pole to keep things aligned. (HR)

After some careful handling and operations – especially on an increasingly lively ship as the weather picks up – Sentry is safely lowered back into its cradle.  Almost immediately, downloading of the data from the just-completed mission and servicing of the vehicle to prepare it and get it ready for the next dive will begin.

April 23 Log
After some careful handling and operations, Sentry is safely lowered back into its cradle. (HR)

More impressive than yesterday, we awoke to a beautiful dawn and clear skies overhead. Actually, watches started just after midnight last night so, in fact, some folks got to see dawn just before they went to bed.

April 22 Log
More impressive than yesterday, we awoke to a beautiful dawn and clear skies overhead. (HR)

By early afternoon we were way off-shore and out in the open Pacific Ocean, proper. While the mountains in this photo are impressive, what is particularly good news for us on the ship is how flat and calm the seas are.

April 22 Log
By early afternoon we were way off-shore and out in the open Pacific Ocean, proper. (HR)

Here is Sentry all buttoned up with its outer shiny yellow skins covering over all the complex components hidden within.

April 22 Log
Sentry all buttoned up with its outer shiny yellow skins covering over all the complex components within. (HR)

TowCam is all rigged up and ready to go, too.

April 22 Log
TowCam is all rigged up and ready to go, too. (HR)

As the clouds lifted on Thursday and the wind abated, those who took time to look up from their work were treated to a surprise, there was fresh snow on the low hills surrounding Punta Arenas, extending all the way down to the outskirts of town.

April 20 Log
As the clouds lifted on Thursday, there was fresh snow on the low hills surrounding Punta Arenas. (HR)

What a difference a day makes. Friday dawned (around 8:45am) with bright sunshine and smooth seas. We’ll take that for the next 10 days, please!

April 20 Log
Friday dawned with bright sunshine and smooth seas. We’ll take that for the next 10 days, please! (HR)

Sentry coming aboard.

April 20 Log
Our first sight as we headed out of port was a view from the Straits of Magellan over the center of Punta Arenas. (HR)

 

Progress at last: The first of the two 20-foot container vans that left Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in mid-February is offloaded alongside the R/V Melville in Punta Arenas’ Mardones dock.

April 18 Log
The first of the two 20-foot container vans is offloaded alongside the R/V Melville. (HR)

Sentry (on the right) has already been slid out of its van far enough to be ready for a crane-lift aboard ship.  Now, TowCam is about to be pulled out of the left-hand van

April 18 Log
Sentry has already been slid out of its van. Now, TowCam is about to be pulled out of the left-hand van. (HR)

Sentry coming aboard.

April 18 Log
Sentry coming aboard. (HR)

 

How do you spot the ocean science team at the airport?  What we lack for in business attire we substitute with diligence.  Five people, five laptops, and only Carl can be distracted from earnest concentration just long enough to look up and worry: Where’s Chris, and why isn’t he at his laptop too?  From left to right: Tim, Taylor, Dan, Carl and Justin (you can’t see Justin, but you can see his laptop!).  Pop quiz: how come scientists face one way at the airport, while Sentry engineers face the other?  Direction of travel?  Fear of temptation at the Starbucks counter?

April 17 Log
How do you spot the ocean science team at the airport? (HR)

Still waiting on dawn's early light. Soon after taking this photo I rejoin the huddle with the Sentry team waiting to be let in from the cold. This is how the Emperor penguins do it just south of here, right? Little did I know, as I took this photo, that this would also be how the day would end (kind of).

April 17 Log
Still waiting on dawn's early light. Soon after taking this photo I rejoin the huddle with the Sentry team. (HR)

 

 

The Sentry autonomous underwater vehicle meets the submersible Alvin during a testing expedition off Bermuda in April 2006.

Next Steps - Sentry
The Sentry AUV the submersible Alvin during a testing expedition off Bermuda in April 2006. (HR)

WHOI engineers Bob Brown (left) and Tito Collasius check the fit of the yellow outer skin over the lifting eye of the Sentry autonomous underwater vehicle.

Next Steps - Sentry
Bob Brown (left) and Tito Collasius check the fit of the yellow outer skin over the lifting eye of the Sentry.

owCam, a towed underwater camera system will work in tandem with Sentry during the Chile Triple Junction 2012 Expedition. Sentry will map the seafloor. TowCam will collect imagery.

Next Steps - Sentry
TowCam, a towed underwater camera system will work in tandem with Sentry. (HR)

 

First launched in 1995, ABE helped herald a new kind of deep-submergence vehicle – the AUV – and revolutionized deep-sea exploration by expanding scientists’ abilities to reach into the deep.

How We've Used ABE
First launched in 1995, ABE helped herald a new kind of deep-submergence vehicle. (HR)

ABE’s inventors, Al Bradley (left) and Dana Yoerger tested the autonomous underwater vehicle in the test well.

How We've Used ABE
ABE’s inventors tested the autonomous underwater vehicle in the test well.

Dawn from the R/V Melville on March 5, 2010.

How We've Used ABE
Dawn from the R/V Melville on March 5, 2010. (HR)

 

Study area, tracks and symbols show INSPIRE 2010 work. The cruise will start in Punta Arenas (PA) and spend several days at Chile Triple Junction (CTJ) and a nearby slope seep site ( ~45°55’S).

Mission Plan
Study area, tracks and symbols show INSPIRE 2010 work. (HR)

The autonomous underwater vehicle Sentry is designed to dive as deep as 6,000 meters (19,685 feet).

Mission Plan
The autonomous underwater vehicle Sentry is designed to dive as deep as 6,000 meters (19,685 feet). (HR)

During this cruise, TowCam will be operated in concert with Sentry. As well as providing real-time imagery from the seafloor it is passing over, a novel adaptation for this cruise means the TowCam pilots will also have the opportunity to attempt sampling of any biological communities we find at any vent or seep sites.

Mission Plan
During this cruise, TowCam will be operated in concert with Sentry. (HR)

long the western coast of Chile, three of Earth’s tectonic plates intersect in a way that does not occur anywhere else on the planet.

Education
Along the western coast of Chile, three of Earth’s tectonic plates intersect. (HR)