September 3: Transit to California

The ROV was on deck by 5:00 p.m. local time yesterday and the ship immediately turned and headed south for home. We worked up the dive samples after dinner and enjoyed the evening, knowing that we had plenty of time to pack up and clean the labs during the three-day transit.

Today was a lovely blue-skies day, but a stiff breeze kicked up a white-capped swell on our stern quarter and made for a wild, wallowing ride as we surfed down the waves. We finished post-dive sample processing, began packing up the lab, rested a little, and worked on our belated cruise logs.

sunset on the aft deck of the Western Flyer

Some members of the science party enjoying the sunset on the aft deck of the Western Flyer yesterday evening after we started for home.

music making on the Flyer

Ryan Portner and Lonny Lundsten making music with improvised drums on the bow, out of the wind, today during our transit.

Earth Wind Model

Winds in the Northeast Pacific are at their strongest right where we are (green circle is our approximate location); from NOAA National Weather Service data visualized via

Velella velella

ROV Chief Pilot Knute Brekke took this stunning photo of one of the millions of Velella velella (“By-the-wind sailors”), approximately four-inch long siphonophores passing the ship on glassy calm water while we were on station at Axial Seamount.

—Jenny Paduan

Piston core collecting sediments just in front of 2011 lava flow..


Northern 2014 Expedition