August 19, 2004: After a rockin' and rollin' night on the ship, the morning news is a surprise to nobody. Today's dive is cancelled. Winds are over 30 knots and the seas are rife with 10-plus foot waves, beyond the safety margins to safely launch and recover the ALVIN. Sadly, the "Caldera of Doom" on Ely Seamount will remain unexplored.
This was the last scheduled dive of the cruise, so after some final multi-beam mapping of the area, we'll begin the long 4 day transit south.
The underwater exploration part of the cruise has effectively come to an end. But the information collected will yield many more discoveries. I'm very appreciative of being involved in this exciting research. Being able to observe deep-sea corals in their natural habitat has been a wonderful opportunity, so much more meaningful than numbers on a spreadsheet or dots on a map.
I'd like to thank Catalina Martinez, NOAA Office of Exploration, chief scientist Tom Shirley and principle investigators Randy Keller, Amy Baco-Taylor and Peter Etnoyer, the crew of Alvin and the Atlantis, and everyone else involved in the 2004 Gulf of Alaska Seamount Exploration. All your efforts have brought mankind closer to understanding the mysteries of the sea.
For the oceans,