Now where did we leave …..

….. those instruments?

It seems so long ago now that we deployed two sets of instruments onto the seabed: i) offshore Angola along the Congo canyon; and ii) offshore the island of Faial in the Azores.

Each set just sitting there listening.

Listening for the ground to move beneath them, or for the sound of the ground moving elsewhere arriving at them through the water column.

In the case of the Azores a deployment due to last only 2 months, is now well into its 7th. And at the Congo canyon, the instruments have been in place for a year.

Well, finally, after all this time, recovery day has arrived. Or at least the start of the recovery process.

Today saw the departure of one team to Southampton to join the RRS James Cook to start its quarantine period before departure for the Congo; and tomorrow sees another team head to the Azores, again to quarantine for two weeks before that recovery which should take no more than a day of fine weather.

The Congo recovery will be a 52 day UK-to-UK effort for just a couple of days of work; the Azores will be at least three weeks for one day – such are these times.

So C-19 tests taken and passed negative – off our team members go armed with a different kind of PPE then they are used to.

So an early start this morning saw the arrival of a rental van,

its packing with the equipment needed for the recovery

with both team members having received negative C-19 tests yesterday to allow closer working

and the start of a long drive to Southampton.

Luckily for those travelling to the Azores, the equipment needed for that recovery is still sitting in a secure warehouse in the port of Horta on Faial, thanks to the University of the Azores.

We will be using its vessel, the Arquipelago, to undertake the recoveries, and we have been waiting for it to complete its refit and annual rectification testing in Lisbon before our team members will leave for the Azores.

Yesterday saw the Arquipelago leave Lisbon for its journey back to the Azores and we will track it all the way.

And the weather is looking good for the crossing – let’s hope this lasts until mid-Sept when the recoveries will start.

It is due in Horta on Sunday.

A nice high pressure region and wind speeds of less than 15 knots all the way.

Fair winds and calm seas team and we look forward to hearing how you are getting along.

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