By Edwin Schiele
October 7, 1998. Five swaths down, and Puna Ridge is taking shape. We are amazed at the number of cratered volcanoes we are finding at the top of the ridge. It is fun to try to imagine what Puna Ridge must have been like when these volcanoes formed.
The volcanoes we are seeing on Puna Ridge resemble volcanoes along the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and the submarine Reykjanes Ridge that extends south from Iceland. We are also seeing fissure ridges and grabens that resemble those on the subareal (above water) portion of Kilauea and on other basaltic volcanoes. The next step will be to merge all of the swaths we are mapping into a single mosaic. We can then search for trends in the arrangement of fissures, faults, and volcanoes. This information will be essential for understanding how magma moves under the shallow crust along the top of the ridge.
But first, its time for lunch. When you are on a ship for five weeks, working long, often tedious hours, you need something to look forward to. Good food three times a day goes a long way towards lifting everybodys spirits. The three people who work in the galleyDan McBriar, Norman Nebril, and Darcy Van Pattenface a daunting challenge. They must keep as many people as possible as happy as possible. Here are some of the hurdles they must overcome.
People on the voyage come from a variety of different places and have a variety of different eating habits. There are vegetarians. There are people who are allergic to certain foods. There are people who cant eat certain foods for religious reasons. And there are people who only like certain foods. The trick, says Dan McBriar, is to serve a wide variety of foods. If there are foreign nationals on board who are only used to certain things, they try to cater to their tastes. Variety is also important to those of us who will eat anything. Any dish, no matter how good it is, gets pretty old after four weeks. Dan says that it is impossible to satisfy everybody, and that at times it is important to have thick skin. Still, they do a remarkable job.
One of the highlights of the cruise so far was a cookout on the deck last Sunday. The cookout featured mahi mahi and ono prepared in a variety of ways. All the dishes were artistically presented. Not even the rain could dampen our spirits.