And here it is ….. at the RRS James Cook

The two 20′ containers and 7 tonnes of ballast arrived as planned at the RRS James Cook in Southampton yesterday.

Today’s job is to unload the equipment from the shipping containers and stow it on the vessel, where the ship’s ABs will help us lash the really heavy stuff down on deck for transit down to the Cape Verde, while we build the lab infrastructure as we need it, again lashing everything down.

The absolute gravimeter also arrived today from the NERC’s Space Geodesy Facility and the two parts of that that need to ship “hot” (at a constant temperature or under vacuum) were installed into the Constant Temperature Lab on the Cook, whose temperature has been set to a constant value of 22c similar to the destination in Trinidad, and it will stay like this until we get to the port of Port of Spain. The rest of the meter will stay safe and sound in its shipping crates.

This is it – the research cruise starts here!

The photos below show some of the jobs we have been doing on the RRS James Cook today – 16th Dec.


Containers have been shifted from the bow to the stern ready to be loaded.


One being lifted onto the stern working deck for unloading


One down on a currently empty stern working deck …. it won’t be empty for long.


Feels like we only packed this yesterday …… not quite, but almost! Normally we have several months of sea freight time before we catch up with our containers in a foreign port. Not this time.

IMG_2666_trimNow the second one.

IMG_2685_trimFifteen of the fifty-eight instruments to be used on this cruise, plus the two test “carousels” for the acoustic communications systems – each holds twelve units.


Some of the other frames being stored on the starboard deck – there will be 20 of these frames in total.

IMG_2687_trimThe Autosub deck frame is then loaded.


And Autosub on the quay adjacent waiting to be fitted into into its frame.


The control system for the towed seismic systems being installed in the main scientific lab.

These installations will take several days to complete so update blogs will appear over the coming days as the work progresses.

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