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IODP Expedition 301T:
Transit/Cost Rica Hydrogeology

Week 2 Report

PDF file is available for download.

September 6, 2004


Transit to Site 1253: The transit was uneventful with the ship averaging 10.87 knots over the 3411 Nm distance. IODP/TAMU operations and engineering personnel have continued the technical documentation of the recently completed Expedition 301, assisting in the refinement of the procedures for recovery and replacement of the Costa Rica osmotic sampler instrument string, and in the training of a new operations superintendent.

Site Operations: Arrived at Site 1253 @ 1112 on 4 September 2004. Made up fishing BHA and ran in hole to fish miscellaneous hardware plus the OsmoSampler from Hole 1253A. After fishing for just over 3 hours we started pulling out of the hole attached to a rope which we had hoped was secured to the OsmoSampler. After tripping out of the hole, we found that we had captured the float, some of the spectra rope and the metal ring used to tie on the float. The remainder of the fished components either dropped to the sea floor during the trip out or remain in Hole 1253A. This will be determined after we complete operations at Hole 1255A.

We made up the new BHA for connecting to the CORK at Site 1255. Ran in the hole to 4270 meters and deployed the subsea TV camera to assist in attaching to the CORK installed in Hole 1255A. As of midnight Sunday 5 September 2004 we continued to maneuver the ship for engaging the Hole 1255A CORK wellhead.

Site Security: During transit and occupation of sites 1253 and 1255, the JR operated under a security level of MARSEC Level 1 (Yellow) and appropriate security measures were in effect.


Scientific activities during the transit have been centered on preparation of the replacement osmotic samplers to be installed in Holes 1255A/1253A and preparation of the fishing tools/sinker bar strings required for removal of the currently installed instruments. In addition, a science/technical meeting was held to discuss the proposed operations at both of the Costa Rica sites.

Technical Support and HSE Activities

The technical staff has been assisting the scientific party as they prepare for the retrieval and replacement of two OsmoSamplers as part of the Costa Rica APL. There was a meeting of the technical staff and scientists to explain the planned activities and coordinate the staff in the sampling, labeling, analysis and packing of the retrieved water samples. There was also an operations meeting to explain the planned deployment and retrieval activities at both sites.

The new technicians have been training in their respective labs. The technical staff is also cross training in different labs during the transit. ET's resolved the problems with the towed magnetometer by rebuilding the towed fish. Training on the balance systems is continuing for the staff as they optimize the fine-tuning and calibration. Standards are being prepared to calibrate the analytical instruments in the chemistry lab.

The Computer System managers have been preparing for the videoconference test planned for later in the week. The inSORS multi-media conferencing and collaboration software will be tested, broadcasting voice and video over a number of different bandwidths. The ship recently switched satellites on the VSAT system as we transit through the Pacific and prepare to enter the Atlantic Ocean.

Two JOI personnel are sailing during the transit to photo document the labs and conduct interviews with personnel. Stereoscopic photos are being taken of various labs and locations on the ship and personnel are being interviewed and filmed.

The staff is preparing the shipments of microbiological samples from Expedition 301 that will be offloaded when the ship arrives in Panama. Some of the samples are live cultures stored in refrigerated containers while other samples are deep frozen (-80 C) DNA studies.

Core recovery: None

Samples collected: None

HSE: A scheduled fire and boat drill was conducted 31 August. Those not involved proceeded to their lifeboats. Technical personnel are continuing to sign up for mandatory safety training courses developed to educate the sea-going staff and satisfy international marine safety requirements.

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Modified on Wednesday, 31-May-2006 12:47:40 CDT.