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LavaWatch 2023 Cruise Photo Journal

There were ups. There were downs. There was norovirus. The 2023 research expedition to EPR 9 50'N included many stories to write about, but for now, here is the expedition in photos.



View of a very tiny RV Atlantis from a beach on Puntarenas, Costa Rica.


Deploying AUV Sentry for the first time during AT50-07.


My first look at HOV Alvin from the inside of the human-occupied titanium sphere.


Esmira and Luke begin their Alvin orientation. Lesson 1: How to enter Alvin.


Connor and Henry calibrate the IGT thermocouples, ensuring their accuracy to 400C.


Esmira's turn to calibrate the remaining IGTs.




Dr. Jill McDermott and Alvin's Expedition Leader, Randy Holt discuss positioning IGT holsters on Alvin's basket.


Henry breaks out his fabrication and engineering skills to build custom holsters for Majors samplers.


Jada collects bottom sea water from the CTD to be used as a control for fluid samples and to prep IGT samplers


Ah- the first sunset we remembered to watch.

Boobies following us as we transit.

Dolphins surfing at our bow.

Sitting in international waters just outside Costa Rica. There was a pod of at least 200 dolphins here just before this photo was taken.


Searching for more dolphins.


A series of unfortunate events has us utilizing down time to study each vent site over the past 15 years within EPR 9 50'N. Here Connor presents his summary of L-Vent to the geology and Alvin teams.


Alvin sleeps while we transit to station.


The Alvin "Light Show" where we test all of its lights.



Watching storms roll by while at sea is a new level of relaxing.


IGT School: Dr. McDermott shows us how to disassemble and prepare IGTs for deployment.






Jada and Esmira run through a simulation of titrations and H2S measurements.





Dr. McDermott and Dr. Barreyre watch the Alvin team perform their per-dive checklists before their first dives of the cruise.


Getting into Alvin.


First launch of Alvin during the cruise.


Connor exits Alvin- the look of a successful dive.


Luke shucking some Bathymodiolus mussels and discovering a rather monstrous Branchipolynoe associate.




Luke and Dr. McDermott before their Alvin dive to YBW-Sentry Field.


Dr. Dan Fornari video-calls his long time friends, Luke's parents, to watch Luke climb into Alvin and begin his descent.




A view of Alvin's sail just before it begins descending.

Luke returns from YBW-Sentry Field!




Luke and I investigate the base of one of the octocorals.




An active sulfide sample.


CTD team begins a very long night of tow-yos to hunt for vent plumes.


Eduardo receiving his first dive trophy of a 3D print of his 3D Biovent reconstruction. He just had to wait for the ice block to melt to find out what was inside...


Dr. Barrerye tells Molly about all the lava samples he got for her.


The lava sample!!

More lava!

..and so many Bathymodiolus hitch-hikers..


This sample was a great limpet and stalked barnacle haul.


Pompeii worm tubes.


This basalt sample was much heavier and populated than I thought.




Yup. More mussels.


Tevnia tube, scale worms, and a crab!


Stalked barnacles were thriving at Tica and Biovent.



CTD recovery from plume hunting.



An Alvin swimmer communicates with the pilot via a sound-powered phone.


Swimmers hook a line to Alvin to align Alvin with the Stern of Atlantis.



A lost teenager gull tries to keep its balance.





Removing the IGTs after Alvin recovery.

More sunset gazing.






It was a good one..




Dr. McDermott draws fluid samples from the IGTs to take chemistry measurements onboard.









Taking chemistry measurments with the gas chromatograph.






Jada before her dive to M and Q vents.








Jada receives her trophy of a frozen block of krill that were clogging up the ship's engines.



















Flat Stanley was an honored guest on our dive!


That's me looking through the port hole! My favorite vent at EPR 9 50'N - Biovent! (Photo taken by National Deep Submergence Facility - WHOI NDSF)


Photo taken from Alvin's camera (WHOI, NDSF)


An amazing group of people to spend 30 days with. Thank you to all of ships crew, Alvin and Sentry Teams, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, NDSF, NSF, and UNOLS for supporting this work.


The Lehigh Team!


Me with my First Descent Certificate.


Herrera Lab

McDermott Lab + Alum




Cook out on our last night on the ship!

Lehigh Team with our 13 cases of gear.

We made it back to Bethlehem with all of our gear!

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