We have been steaming and searching for locations on the seafloor where the sediments are accumulating undisturbed. We tried without luck to take cores at several promising locations, however the cores came up less than perfect. On our thirteenth core attempt of the cruise we got lucky.
Yesterday we left our first study region with new samples from the seafloor and a healthy respect for the ocean currents that can erode sediment deep in the ocean. The seafloor we surveyed was heavily eroded and we had to look carefully before finding sites that were promising enough to try sampling. Even then we ran into difficulties getting the sediments back to the ship.
Alice stepped through the mirror to see the world beyond, and we peer through the bottom of the ocean to see what is below. Short pulses of sound from the ship are focused on the seafloor, and we listen to the echo and reverberations that return.
It is the middle of the night and I am wide awake thinking about the ocean, specifically the bottom of the ocean. Is it rocky? Jumbled? Smooth? Rocky is bad. Jumbled is bad. Smooth is good.