Today we had good seas to launch Jason at 1100 hours. The elevator had already been sent down and Jason quickly found it, then brought it to the top of the mound at TAG, which has a massive shrimp population. After taking a couple of titanium samplers, the port horizontal thruster became disabled so this is the second dive that the gremlins have harassed us. We were still able to obtain two more major samples after the thruster incident and before the dive was aborted so that Jason could be recovered at dusk (1922 hours). The four samples were being processed by Amy Gartman and Alyssa Findlay in our top side laboratory.
In addition to the samples, we sent down on the elevator and retrieved the last of our styrofoam cups for Bill Geppert’s students as well as those of our own creation. They have gotten much smaller—about 25 percent of their original size as the pressure of the ocean depths squeezes the air from the spaces between the molecules that make up the cups.
Since the Jason was recovered, the thruster has been replaced and we plan a first light launch tomorrow October 28 until the weather picks up later on Sunday. We turn back the clocks tonight from daylight saving time.
Science appreciates that the Jason group will do what it can to get more samples for us as the weather forecast after Tuesday looks poor—but not as bad as what the East Coast of the USA will be getting from Hurricane Sandy. We talk much about how the hurricane might affect our families and homes while we are away. Everyone is contacting their loved ones by Skype audio as the bandwidth for our internet cannot support much streaming video.