The day-by-day log of science writer Briggs as an observer aboard the Discoverer, an oceanographic research vessel looking for deposits of manganese nodules on the ocean floor. The Blake Plateau off the coast of South Carolina, Georgia and northern Florida was their search area for twenty days in October, 1967. No major discovery was made, which makes the account valuable as an example of routine--but not uninteresting--work. The Discoverer housed an enormous amount of equipment which the author can introduce slowly by visiting different parts of the ship each day. His personal reactions and the human aspects of life on board are not neglected; his observations sometimes sound stilted (""the daily event in astronomy"" for a sunset) but there are entries with more appeal--about a plant named Arthur, the kind of movies preferred and why, problems about the nodules, the crew's desire for souvenirs. Briggs (Men in the Sea, 1968, p. 520, J-196) had some background in oceanography before the trip and readers must have some familiarity to follow his records of conversational theorizing even though he often adds information that the scientists assume their colleagues know. For older kids with a special interest.