Transcript for The Voyage of the Lee, segment 18 of 21


Hello, Mom. This is Steve. I just called to say hi and Happy Mother's Day. Over.

Hi, Steve. How wonderful to hear from you.

Sunday, May thirteenth - working near Epi, the normal daily routine is interrupted by a series of long distance phone calls ship to shore. Mother's Day hasn't been forgotten aboard the Lee.

Well, we're having a good time out here. The weather was at first a little bit rainy, but it is beautiful now. The seas are as calm as glass, and we're working pretty hard but enjoying everything, and it's really exciting down here. Over.

{{{MUSIC}}}

The Lee steams on towards the Solomons. The weather has turned decidedly warmer now, and the crew often awakes shortly after sunrise to the strains of the Highland Cradle Song performed by Sandy Macfarlane on a bagpipe that he had thoughtfully stowed in his cabin.

The daily activity continues as before, broken only by a few opportunities for the crew to take advantage of the tropical climate.

There are natural hazards in these waters. When white-tipped sharks are sighted, the ship's cook John Williams is summoned on deck to size up that night's dinner.

Okay, you're off about a foot. Bring it up a little more.

As the Lee steams back across the Pacific to Hawaii and ultimately its home port in California, scientists are already beginning to assess the results of this precedent-setting journey. New discoveries include the location of a magma chamber in the Figi-Tonga region, which may have potential as a mineral resource. In Vanuatu new submarine volcanoes are discovered, and one of the largest sedimentary basins is mapped and found to contain nearly eighteen thousand feet of sediment. This basin extends well into the water of the Solomon Islands where other basins are mapped by the Lee's underwater gear.

In Papua New Guinea, a large basin off the island of New Ireland is seen as one of the more promising areas for oil and gas development. In addition to these finds, the Lee has located and mapped geological hazards which will assist third world nations in minimizing dangers to the local population in addition to assisting them in planning for future development. In Rabul on the island of New Britain, Papua New Guinea, the Lee continues a unique experiment in observing the formation of a submarine volcano. The harbor of Rabul, a major staging area for the Japanese in World War Two, has experienced earthquakes and uplift which scientists of Operation Deep Sweep believe could predict a future major eruption.