It actually started last Wednesday. We set sail from Astoria with plenty of "Goonies" references to go around.
The boat is a steel monster about 400 feet long. There's three decks, with cabins, the galley and mess hall, a few different labs, a movie room, reading room and a weight room with white padded walls. It's all very "Life Aquatic", if you get the reference.
We have been in transit for the past three days, getting our computers and systems up and running. We arrive at our first deployment spot tomorrow morning at 5:30 am. That is when we'll put our first ocean bottom seismometer (OBS) down. The OBS itself is a sphere about 16 inches in diameter made of inch thick glass--these suckers are heavy! It's vacuum sealed with the instrumentation inside and attached to an anchor. When we are done with the survey, the sphere is timed to detach from the anchor and it'll float to the surface of the water. Our boat will pull up alongside it and we'll scoop it out with a net and crane.
That's our science portion of the post for today...in terms of daily life around here, the other grad students at I are starting our shifts tonight. We will have people on shifts all 24 hours, since we will be collecting data constantly. We each have two 4 hour shifts during the 24 hours and then we sleep and do other work around that schedule. My shifts are from 4-8 in the morning and evening.
I will try to update here every couple days or so and will get some pictures going as well, at least so y'all can see where we are going and where in the world we are.