By Rachel Teasdale
Weather: A mixture of bright, sunny with overcast skies. Light winds.
|Jason Elevator, used to transport instruments from the ship to the seafloor where ROV Jason can unload them.|
Living and working at sea can be challenging, but the Thomas G. Thompson is set up to make it as easy as possible. The Thompson is operated by the School of Oceanography at the University of Washington, but is owned by the Office of Naval Research. The ship is 274 feet long and has a 52.6 foot beam (width). Normal cruising speed is 11 knots (12.7 mph) and the ship has space for 36 scientists, in addition to its normal crew of 21 plus 2 marine technicians who support science activities. The marine techs are invaluable in facilitating things like assisting in deck operations to deploy instruments and equipment, setting up internet and locating support equipment such as cables, batteries, and more.
|Science team members at work in the Main Lab.|
All science team members have access to an internal intranet where images and data from the Jason and Sentry dives are stored. Updates on science activity plans are posted on a white board in the computer lab, which is broadcast on the intranet to keep everyone up to date. TV screens in the Main Lab and Computer Lab project live video from cameras on the Jason ROV during dives, so everyone on board can watch the action!
|Map of lab spaces on the Thomas G. Thompson.|
Science operations on the ship are conducted 24 hours a day and 7 days a week, so scientists and the ship’s crew have shifts around the clock. During Jason dives a science watch leader oversees the real-time operations of a dive to accomplish pre-determined goals. For instance, a goal might be to collect samples of the 2015 lava flows, but during the dive, the watch leader will decide exactly which rock sample to collect, and work with Jason pilots to get the correct sample. Jason has multiple video and still cameras to record each dive, which are tracked in a log by two data loggers from the science team who are also in the Jason van throughout dives. The science team rotates through shifts that have them work 4 hours, then have 8 hours to do other work, eat and sleep. Such shifts have not started yet, but will begin with the first Jason dive.
|Lunchtime on Saturday 15 August 2015.|
|Science crew state room.|