Here we go again …..

Although we have been quiet for a while, work has not stopped in the lab, and before we give you an update on what we have been up to, above is a little reminder of where we have just been – Sargasso Sea seaweed.

It was everywhere at 13N in the Atlantic.

So what have we been up to since the 24th Feb?

Some of us have had a holiday – well-earned after 42 days at sea – to refresh our batteries before we start again with our next adventure.

We’ve also been keeping track of our equipment as it works its way back to the UK on the RRS James Cook as it undertakes yet another science project – this time for some Dutch scientists – on the way home. This image shows you where both vessels in the British research fleet are right now – and our equipment is on the Cook which, ironically, is currently not too far from our last 13N work area.


We have also started the planning process for the data acquisitions we have in 2017 – it takes a long time to prepare instrumentation for use at sea if you want it to come back from the seabed and have acquired data as programmed.

Some of the items we need also have very long delivery times. And some of the activities we need to do on the next acquisition require us to design and build stuff – that really does take time as this will also need to be thoroughly tested.

So we are currently preparing for three data acquisitions – one in the Antilles (back in the Caribbean again) and the others in the North Sea – not so exotic but the water is considerably shallower, which presents different challenges for us, one being potential for trawling our instruments off the seabed by fishing boats.

The North Sea cruises also require us to dust off our electromagnetic field (EM) measuring instruments and, because they haven’t been used for a while, these will take some time as well to get back in tip top condition. So as part of the planning process we first have to do an appraisal of the condition of equipment that has been put in storage for a while, even though it was in tip top condition when we put it into storage.

The Boss is also organising a planning and specification meeting with the Chief Scientists of these data acquisitions so that we can determine exactly what they want us to do, how the equipment needs to be configured and how it will be used at sea.

So its all go here, and will get even busier when the Cook gets back to the UK and we can get our seismic equipment home and do the demobilisation process on that before it is remobilised for the Antilles project which will take place in May-June next year. That should give you some idea how long the planning and preparation cycle can be. We never get a chance just to sit down, have a cup of tea and twiddle our thumbs.

So to keep you all “nautical” – here is a green channel marker from the Solent – a deja vu from the 27th December!


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