Monday, October 12, 2009

Silent Running…

A typical view of the CTD these days: all you can see is the wire descending into the depths. Because we are using it round the clock, the instrument is never going to be on deck for more than an hour at a time until Nereus is good to go again.
Position at 23h00 EST (Launch of CTD 09)
Lat: 18° 36.3’N Long: 081° 41.4’W
Water depth: 5087m

Not much to report today. With Nereus on deck our small but perfectly formed science team is running flat out running CTD casts round the clock. With only 5 miles between stations we get from one sampling site to the next faster than we can draw the samples and get ready to put the CTD back in the water, so we grab moments for things like food, drink etc when we can during the 12 hour shifts when we are on watch. Doug, Ko-ichi and Cara are doing the heroes’ watch from 8pm to 8am local (midnight to midday on Greenwich Mean Time, which we use as our time standard for recording all our science data at sea) and Tina, Sean and I are doing the day-time shift, 8am to 8pm.

We started this late Sunday and will keep going until Wednesday morning by which time we’ll be at least a third of the way down the ridge and ready for our next Nereus dive: repeating the engineering tests we first started on Sunday. That seems like a long time ago already!

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