9/3/12 11 am. Yesterday was a busy day, including extensive collection of deep-sea microbes using a McLane filtration system for the Aluwihare research program (Lihini Aluwihare, Jenan Karbush, and Ulisses Bazarra present), two lander recoveries (from 6.9 and 9.1 km depth) for the National Geographic Society (Mike Shephard present) and the Bartlett research program (Doug Bartlett, Chief Scientist Rosa Leon Zayas , Logan Peoples present, along with collaborators Rachael Hazael and Fabrizia Foglia from University College London) and one gravity coring operation for the Rouse and Bartlett operations (9.1 km water column depth; Greg Rouse present along with the aforementioned Bartlett group members). We were delighted to have obtained on the first shot close to two meters of sediment. To our knowledge this is one of the deepest sediment retrievals ever. Many subcores were obtained and these will be used for benthic invertebrate analyses, microbiology, genomics and pore water chemistry. All of the scientists and volunteers involved in core retrieval and processing now proudly display samples of this precious mud on their clothing. I suspect Stu Krantz will even have his anointed clothing framed.