Day 26: The final dredge!
By Olivia Belshaw
Day 26 of our voyage saw the final dredge being deployed into the water – Dredge number 55! This dredge collected mainly limestone/carbonate samples from the sea floor; however, there were a few basalt pebbles hidden within the rocks themselves. The limestones collected were also fossil rich, showing evidence of corals, foraminifera and shells.
It’s hard to believe that in the 26 days we have been on the ship so far, we have categorised, photographed and recorded rock samples from approximately 50 successful dredges. Over our dredging period, we swath mapped multiple sea mounts and underwater geological features in the coral Sea. We’ve collected and analysed almost 700 rock samples, sifted over 50 massive buckets of thick sediment, and collected unique biological specimens including corals and glass sponges. Whilst some of the work has been hard, and at times repetitive, it has certainly been worthwhile, providing Jamie and myself with multiple opportunities to talk to scientists, participate in scientific research and learn about some of the valuable scientific research being led by Australian Scientists.