Editor’s Note: Journalist and crew member Kathryn Eident and scientist Jeremy Jacquot are traveling on board the RV Atlantis on a monthlong voyage to sample and study nitrogen fixation in the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean, among other research projects. This is the fifth blog post detailing this ongoing voyage of discovery for ScientificAmerican.com .
RV ATLANTIS, OFF THE COAST OF CHILE–Like many people around the world Saturday, the crew and science party aboard the RV Atlantis woke to the news of the earthquake in Chile and the tsunami threat in the Pacific. Throughout the morning news slowly trickled in– first from a deckhand who’d been perusing the news online, then from loved ones as the emails of concern began pouring in. Mates standing watch on the bridge even answered a few phone calls from worried parents–a rather unusual occurrence considering calls to the ship must be made via satellite and cost upwards of a $1 a minute.