We’ll see this again soon ….. hopefully!

Today is 13N shipping day …..

….. the result of at least 6 months non-stop hard work

 At 08:00 this morning a large crane, a 40′ long container lorry and 40′ normal lorry arrived at our lab which is located at the Department of Earth Sciences in Durham University.

As our lab is located in the middle of Durham University’s Science Site, we have to do such logistics activities before the normal working day starts when there will be a lot of pedestrian traffic to’ing and fro’ing, particularly with students moving between lecturers on the hour every hour during the working day.

So it was an early start for us this morning – 07:00 and the good old British weather also wanted to play its part – we’ve had rain, wind, snow, ice and now its freezing fog!


In the dark and the freezing fog – what we do for science!

Two of the team have already left for Southampton so that they can do the preliminary installation work with some of the other equipment to be used during the 13N cruise and be there ready to receive this shipment tomorrow when it arrives.

So the “Boss”, two of her PhD students coming on the cruise and the remaining engineers in the lab, dispatched the containers (yes even this involves yet more paperwork!) and moved the 7 tonnes of ballast adjacent to the crane so that it could be lifted onto the lorry, and then pallet trucked into place and strapped down to prevent it sliding about during transport.

Both containers were packed to the doors.



And then off it all went, by road, to Southampton where the RRS James Cook is currently berthed. The research vessel arrived on Friday from a seabed drilling cruise at Atlantic Massif at 30N on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, where it has been for the last month or so, undertaking a project funded by the International Ocean Drilling Programme.

The 13N research cruise starts on the 14th January in Mindelo in the Cape Verde – so its less than a month to go now.

Some images from this morning’s activities …..

 IMG_2547_trimFirst – scrape the ice off the bed of the lorry!


Lorry reversed and ready to load.


One larger than usual crane.


A crane that size it a bit OTT for the ballast pallets – but its real job is to lift the containers.


Nearly there – 14 pallets in total – c. 7 tonnes.


Lorry is full, all strapped down and off it goes.


One out before the students swap between lectures on the hour and the site gets rather busy with pedestrians. One to go.


First container – also c. 7 tonnes – 7 seems to be the number for this project.


Over the top and onto the lorry. One down.



And now the second – this is the hazardous container.


Round the tight corner.


And off across the site to the main road – second lorry out between lectures.

Having a crane on site is too good an opportunity to not use to the full, so before we let it go we also do a bit of yard reshuffling, moving the remaining container to the outer bay on the hardstanding.


And then there was one.


Why does there seems so much space when everything has shipped, including in the lab itself!



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