Robert Conrad AGOR-3
I took a leave of absence from Yale University during the 1964-65 academic year to work on the oceanographic research vessel Robert D. Conrad, which was operated by Lamont Geological Observatory (now renamed Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory).
The Conrad was engaged in mapping the ocean floor using a number of methods including seismic profiling and magnetometer apparatus that were towed behind the ship. Depending on the bottom features to be examined, the ship made frequent station stops in the middle of the ocean and lowered coring, cameras, and other equipment to the ocean floor. I was initially in charge of collecting sea water samples and characterizing their particulate and chemical contents. My gear was typically attached to the core head wire cable just above the coring head, since we were often collecting samples very near the ocean floor. Samples were collected using either an ~50 gallon barrel that was configured as a supersized Nansen bottle, or with a deep well submersible pump that I modified to pump water to the surface using a hose that ran down along the core wire.
We often had multiple pieces of equipment, suspended from as many as three wires, over the side simultaneously while on station. Although the Conrad had a bow screw that aided maneuvering, operations in rough water frequently lead to crossed wires that required complicated rigging operations in order to recover equipment. I became expert in these recovery operations over the course of the Conrad voyage.
Track of Robert. D Conrad 1994-1995