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Bumping into Hydrothermal Vents

August 14, 2010

Now that the weather has calmed down, we were able to deploy the ROV again last night. We’re currently surveying a 17.5ft tall vent named El Guapo. It’s absolutely beautiful. I can only imagine how startled the first deep-sea explorers were when they stumbled upon this magical utopia. The tubeworms look like flowers waving in the wind and the change in sea temperature creates a wavy effect that makes it look all too much like a mirage.

You can see live streaming video just like me at this website: http://www.interactiveoceans.ocean.washington.edu/story/Live+Video

One of the things I like about this cruise is the focus on education. I think it’s great that anyone on the internet can get a sense of what we’re doing out here from the photo/videos/blog posts that they’re updating. The ocean is such an amazing, beautiful place but it’s hard to understand it from the perspective of land. You really have to hang out in the ocean for a while before it starts to sink in that there is this huge place that could swallow you – and then a couple more weeks to realize that you need to take care of it so it doesn’t actually swallow you.

It’s been so sunny today that everyone wishes we could go swimming. After so many gloomy days, it almost seems like a waste to not take advantage of it. However, research vessels haven’t had swim calls since the early ’90s when someone’s leg got bitten off by a Great White Shark near Easter Island …

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