This morning at 9:15, we left the Tonga Trench Station and turned the ship towards Fiji, a 2-day sail ahead of us. The science team, having accomplished all of their experiments, went to catch up on their well-deserved sleep.

The months of planning this expedition have paid off well in the execution. There will be even more months ahead in the lab where experiments will be run, photos developed and samples analyzed. I feel certain that several discoveries will be made with this data, and our limited knowledge of the deep ocean will expand yet again.

I am honored to have been part of this expedition:  to watch the scientific leaders of the future testing their limits; to see the boundaries of science pushed back one experiment at a time. I am also reminded of the need to continue our exploration of the oceans, to help us learn to preserve our great ocean frontier for generations to come.

I hope that many of you reading this blog will have the chance to support this research, and better yet, have the opportunity to participate in your own journey of discovery, and sail with Scripps Institution of Oceanography very soon.

–Steve Strachan


4 Responses to Nearing the End of the Tonga Trench Expedition

  1. Susan Jerman says:

    The variety of color of the stones in the sediment was astonishing. I especially liked the turquoise and orange colored stones. I wonder where those colors come from at such depths. I will have to quiz a certain geologist I know!

  2. Heidi Krantz says:

    The colors of the diversity of pteropod and heteropod mollusks show the beauty of life in this area. I hope your night plankton tow netted another bonanza of creatures with stunning colors. The sea floor rocks found in the sediment from such a depth in the Tonga Trench are radiant especially the orange ones. The pictures are wonderful. We have enjoyed hearing about the successes of the trip.

  3. Richard Peoples says:

    Congratulations on a great expedition. I know that all did not go as planned but you have to feel good about all that did go right. You have learned from the failures how to do it better the next time. To the team have a good rest on the way home because a lot of work awaits you.

  4. nice blog…thanks for the update..

scripps oceanography uc san diego