Report from Chikyu
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"Activity for the last week (Oct. 23-28)"2018.10.31

We are still preparing for the 'side-tracking' toward deepening a hole. Riser pipe is already connected between Chikyu and BOP on top of the hole. During the weekend, the drill string went down inside the hole beyond the riser pipe. The bit is cleaning up the cased hole.

As such, we have only 2 scientists onboard Chikyu now; Kyu Kanagawa and Masa Kinoshita. They take a role as 'Science Leaders' with the help of Expedition Project Manager (EPM) Lena Maeda. The main role of us is to 'be here' just in case where any major trouble happens which could impact our scientific goals. Meanwhile, we are preparing for the coming shipboard scientists (checking sample and data request; drafting the Methods chapter for our cruise report). Marine techs are already onboard and simulating how they process the cuttings (small pieces of rock cut by the drill-bit) for scientific use.

Probably the best news of the week is that we had an update on the Kuroshio prediction; it will continue meandering until the end of our expedition (next March). This is really great because here we have a weak current (less than 1 knot) which is very 'gentle' for the riser pipe. In other words, we can save lots of time for drilling and have much more chance for success.

This week we start side tracking at 2874 meters below seafloor and deepening a hole. In 2014 this hole reached down to 3058 meters below seafloor, and found the lithology there (~10 Ma old accretionary prism formation) is tough to drill. A lot of improvements have been achieved since then by the operation team (CDEX), and we are sure we can obtain new data and samples soon.

(drafted by Masa Kinoshita onboard Chikyu)

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