Storms on the horizon

2 May 2019

It looks like our incredible luck with the weather here in the North Sea is finally starting to fade. The pond-like conditions of the last few days are slowly becoming choppier and choppier as the James Cook begins to gently sway. Not that this has put off anyone on board – all veteran sailors now – though lunch may have been a little lighter today.

We continued our work surveying the area outside of the release site using the on board multibeam systems, a type of sonar device that lets us map the topography of the seabed. We have observed a number of man-made trawler marks and natural pockmarks. Pockmarks (a kind of circular 3-5m depression in the seabed) are of particular interest as they formed by the natural release of gases like methane and CO2 over long time periods, giving us great insight into the natural history of the area.

Sadly, with the weather slowly turning we’ve decided to head towards Aberdeen a day early and hide from the coming storm, but given how much we’ve already achieved this leg this is hardly a setback. To misquote the great orator Arnold Schwarzenegger: “We’ll be back”. We’ll return in a few days’ time to position the final few pieces of equipment and finally start blowing some bubbles. In the meantime, though we’re all enjoying a little downtime after what has been an increasingly busy first leg…

Table football is a popular activity on board the ship…but requires a bit more skill in a heavy swell!

The team relaxing in the bar area after a busy week’s work. Next stop: Aberdeen.

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