Exploring the Gulf of Mexico with Dr. Sheli: Day 5, Cup Scrunch Day!

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The weather is much better today.  It’s warmer. The sun is shining and the sea is like glass. Check out the sunrise.  My only concern is the ditty about red in the sky.  Do you guys know what it says?

Today was a big day for Dr. Lori. In 2003 she placed two scientific experiments on the U-166 to study corrosion rates or how fast the submarine will deteriorate.  Over the years we have checked on her experiments but never recovered them.  Today was the day. Dr. Lori chose to recover the experiment platform she left eleven years ago in the bow.  At the end of today’s dive we were able to recover the platform and bring it back to the surface for analysis. Now Dr. Lori is plotting how to successfully recover rusticles on tomorrow’s site.

Cup scrunch results!

Heads up Baltic Second Grade, Mrs. Bullshoe’s class at Marty, and Woodlake First Grade.  Your cups went down today!

So Marty, you guys do the math for the younger kids.  The cups will be going to a depth of 4,850ft./1485m.  Remember that every 30ft/9.1m equals 1 Atmosphere or 1 At.  At surface or at 1 At we have about 15lb/6.8kg of pressure pressing in all around us.  So how much pressure will be on your cup at 4,850ft./1485m?

Housing reflects geography 

Look at your house and see how it is built, then check out the houses down in the delta of the Mississippi where the land meets the sea.  Would it be better to be below ground in the north with little of your house sticking up or better high up on stilts?  Why is your house built the way it is?  Is it reflective of your environment or your heritage?stilt houses1

Who steers the boat? Meet Captain Tad

Originally from Indiana, Captain Tad grew up in a Peace Corps family that traveled throughout Venezuela.  He now resides in Friendswood, Texas near his young daughter.

Captain Tad started out in sales but his love of fishing and the Gulf of Mexico led him to follow a career as a mariner.  He loves being at sea, watching for all kinds of fish and natural phenomenon, like water spouts and whales.  He has been on thePelican for six years, and captain for the last year.  It takes seven crew members to run and maintain the Pelican.  Everyone aboard has a role and a set of responsibilities.  There are two Engineers, a Chief Mate, a Cook, a Technical Manager, and an Ordinary Seaman or deckhand.  Captain Tad is responsible for all of them and all the activities, including navigating the ship while underway, the continuous vessel maintenance, as well as constantly thinking up new ways to improve the scientific equipment aboard Pelican and operational activities that support the scientists.

He is usually aboard for a month and a half at a time, with a one to two week break between cruises.  Traditionally the winter months are slow, but the recent proliferation of studies in the Gulf has the Pelican and her crew out all year long.  Captain Tad especially loved the fishery surveys but more recently most of thePelican’s work has been with geophysical work. 

Two days after the Deepwater Horizon, oil spill, disaster, Captain Tad arrived on site.  He brought along his brother, a professional photographer who took lots of picture of the burning rig.  His pictures of the disaster were published in National Geographic and the New York Times.  Captain Tad visited the site often and was on location when they first attempted to cap the well.

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Captain Tad on the bridge