Saturday, September 24, 2005

Leaving Anatahan


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We are now leaving Anatahan Island enroute to Pathfinder bank, and undersea mountain which rises from the depths to within 50 feet of the surface. Being out in the middle of nowhere (about 150 miles west of Saipan) we should see some intersting things. Hopefully not too many large toothy fishes, though.

Today was a relaxing and pretty amazing day. The sea has been flat calm with a gentle swell. Anatahan has been lazily billowing steam and smoke from her crater on the eastern side of the island forming a cloud several thousand feet high by mid-afternoon. We sent a small party into the nearshore waters to retrieve some oceaongraphic equipment and heard stories of murky water and barren lands. I gather from one of the scientists on a dive that he was holding on the ankle of another and could not even see his shorts. Not good conditions for towboarding.

I spent most of my day reparing a handle on the SCUBA compressor manifold, reading papers, and answering the truckload of emails I received this morning! Thanks :-)

With the calm seas tonight's sunset was amazing! Just the right number of clouds to make the colors and contrats the perfect tropical postcard. We could see each pink cloud perfectly reflected in the ocean surface. Truly an amazing sight.