Transcript for The Voyage of the Lee, segment 07 of 21


October first - the Lee steams through the warmer waters of the Hawaiian Islands and other American Trust Territories to the south to begin a series of cobalt studies and then on to American Samoa for surveys on ocean thermal energy conversion sites. Dredging and sampling are a good part of the crew's work. Picking up samples from the floor of the ocean is a time-consuming process which one scientist likens to standing on the roof of a ten story building with a thread and a thimble and trying to pick up a grain of sand from the sidewalk below.

As they cruise along the Line Islands, scientists discover unusually high concentrations of cobalt in crusts dredged from the upper flanks of seamounts. The discovery brings considerable excitement to the Lee, and plans are made for future work in the area.

We spend a lot of our time out here looking at seismic records, at pieces of paper which are essentially one step removed from looking at the real rock, and it's very unusual for us to be able to actually see and hold in our hands the rocks that we investigate through the seismic system so as soon as we bring the bag back up onboard, we generally have a large crowd of geologists hanging around, anxious to get their hands on them, and bang on them, beat on them, and cut them up, and investigate them.