Back home …..

….. safe and sound.

This year has been a strange one.

Two projects that should have been straightforward turned into something that was very far form that.

However, both the Azores and Congo instruments have now made it back to the lab safe and sound.

So despite the best efforts of C-19, the Congo mud and the Azores weather, and a combination of 12 C-19 tests, 56 days of quarantine and 154 days at sea for at most 3 days of instrument recoveries – the day has arrived when the crane rolls up to the lab to await the arrival of the last instrument set to get home – the Congo container.

Up, up and up some more to get the reach …

… and then a quick pick and drop back into its slot.

And out they come, ready for demob and return to fully operational condition ready for their next outing.

Its nice to see the yard full again after such a long time.

In this shipment we have gained a new toy to play with.

This is a spherical float more than 1m in diameter and made of glass.

Not a normal hollow glass sphere as it is solid, and also really heavy.

Its hard to imagine something so big and heavy actually is very buoyant in water.

Its made of millions of tiny hollow glass spheres all stuck together – like a popular chocolate bar – which gives it strength but also a lot of buoyancy, particularly so at the deepest ocean depths.

This sphere is designed for a large mooring, and we are investigating its usefulness for our vertical array of hydrophones.

In the image above you can see that the float has a cylindrical shaped hole through its axis.

This is designed to accommodate an instrumentation pressure vessel like the one below.

This sensor is called an Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler (ADCP) and as its name suggests it is designed to measure, either looking up or looking down, the speed and direction of ocean currents.

We’ve shipped this one back for a scientist in another part of the University to which our lab is attached.

You wouldn’t know that this one has been in the sea for 12 months – it scrubs up well!

And now, for us, its back to the demob, demob cycle and getting ready for the next outing, together with finishing all the developments off that will get a deep ocean test during the next outing.

One chapter closes, and another begins.

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