June 29, 2000
We're speeding along at 13 knots toward the Juan de Fuca Ridge aboard the R/V RONALD H. BROWN, a research ship owned and operated by NOAA. Over the next 19 days our expedition, NeMO 2000, will be studying the Juan de Fuca spreading center which is located 250 miles off the OR/WA coastline. This expedition is a continuation of 20 years of scientific study on the volcanically active ridge. Bookmark this site and join me, Jeff Goodrich, a science teacher at Lake Oswego High School, as I keep you updated daily on our deep sea adVENTure.
Our research will center around Axial Volcano, an active hot spot along the ridge. Lava flows as recent as Jan. 1998, superheated hydrothermal vent systems and odd creatures await exploration by ROPOS, our ROV that will descend to the bottom of the ocean. The submersible will take geological, chemical and biological samples at the vent systems.
Right now most of the scientists and engineers aboard ship are doing last minute preparations for the research or relaxing and establishing their "sea legs." The weather hasn't been too bad but that's not to say there aren't any waves. The ship pitches from fore to aft and I can periodically hear the water ram up against the bow as it makes a series of loud BOOMS. Enough to remind me who is boss. My stomach is holding out but I might need some cliff notes to get around the 274 ft. length of the ship. There are passageways and doors all over that lead to who knows where. I anxiously await our adventures tomorrow.