Packing up our toys

22 May 2019

It’s been a busy couple of days on the James Cook – so busy I haven’t even been able to write a blog post since Monday! The North Sea is back to its old ways with white capped waves slowly filling the horizon as the ship sways more and more.

Stormy skies over the North Sea

With that in mind we’ve decided to wrap up the controlled release experiment. After 11 days of continuous gas injection and an insane number of surveys, we’ve finally turned everything off and have started to pack away our toys.

Final call on the water samples before we pack everything away

Unfortunately, with the swell increasing we only had a few hours to operate the ROV safely before conditions became too rough today. With only enough room on the sled for one lander at a time it was decided to rescue the benthic chamber as its water samples would soon start to deteriorate, and move the other landers somewhere else. So ISIS rushed down to the release site and one by one moved all our landers off site, creating a kind of underwater parking lot where they can wait out the weather and be clear of any coring our friends on the Poseidon might do.

Of course that’s not the only thing that’s been going on. We’ve been continuing our web-based school sessions with high school students from Oasis Academy Mayfield and Cantell School, as well as Birchgrove Primary School where I finally made my big screen debut! It’s been really rewarding chatting to everyone about our work and despite child labour laws I’m really excited to see just how useful they’ll be as data analysts.

Big screen premiere for Ben at Birchgrove Primary School!

The next few days are set to be a little rough as we wait for the weather to improve with little else to do on the ship but we’ll strap everything down and start writing our cruise reports.

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