I’m Patty Fryer, a marine geologist from the University of Hawai’i. I was invited by Jim Cameron to participate in this expedition, and, having arrived, I am now sitting in the Mermaid Sapphire’s galley, where there is good Internet connectivity—and tea.
At noon, the survey ship Barakuda is a hundred and thirty sea miles south of Guam heading southwest at nine knots. Mermaid Sapphire is well over the horizon ahead of us.
After a full day preparing the ship, the sub, and the lander, we departed Guam late in the evening. Mermaid Sapphire, with sixty souls on board, steamed out of the harbor, turned left, and took up a southwest heading.
The wind has dropped off to fifteen knots and the waves are diminishing in size. If the weather continues like this we’ll leave Guam within the next forty-eight hours and head out to the Challenger Deep.
Early this morning, on our way into Rabaul, we passed the ash-sloped volcanoes just east of town. Backlit by a blood-red sun rising out of the South Pacific Ocean, Kombiu, Taranguna, and Tavurvur seemed like ancient, dark-shouldered warriors guarding the harbor.