Looking back: hurricanes and a determined science team

The photo above is a snapshot from Google Earth on September 12, close to the time that we were originally scheduled to begin seafloor operations at the Lost City. Because hurricanes Joyce and Helene were hovering over Lost City for a few days, blocking our access, we weren’t able to begin seafloor operations until September 16. Our first few days setting out from Woods Hole were also pretty rocky thanks to hurricane Florence. We also had some impressive swells even on clear days thanks to hurricane Isaac. There were some very sick people on the R/V Atlantis. (Thanks to Antony Adler for the Google Earth screenshot).

But everyone survived, as evidenced by the photo of smiling scientists below. After the hurricanes parted and our investigations at the Lost City began, this group of people became a highly efficient, interdisciplinary team of researchers.

For the six days of seafloor time we had during this expedition, the R/V Atlantis was humming 24 hours a day with an impressive array of scientific activities including but not limited to: sample processing and archiving, chemistry measurements, microbiology experiments,  sensor data collection, seafloor mapping, video editing, maintenance of a long list of instruments, and playing table tennis. Of course, all of this was done at the same time as operating ROV Jason on the seafloor. Sometimes people may have even slept a few hours.