BobGeo 2009. Day 2 – Sampling begins

Thursday 15 October

The wind got up a bit last night and although we arose to another bright and sunny morning the sea was quite a bit rougher than yesterday.The wind got up a bit last night and although we arose to another bright and sunny morning the sea was quite a bit rougher than yesterday. Even though there were several big bumps as the ship sailed along, thanks to my ear patch I was able to hang onto my meals. I believe that some people suffer with side affects from the patch, but I can honestly say they work for me and I would advise anyone to try them if they have any concerns about going to sea.

There are 8 levels on the ship, I have yet to visit 1 and 2 so not sure what goes on there, most likely they are the engine room and hold but I know the gym is on level two. On the third floor there are the wet and dry labs for processing the material that comes up with the corer and sediment traps, etc. There is also a data processing room where they get the data from the Chirp, etc clear all the artefacts (bits of interference in the data) and produce all of the clean charts. The fourth level is where the cafeteria is located along with the TV room, the lounge area, and of course the bar. I have yet to see anyone in the bar, Probably because everyone is busy going about their duties. Our cabins are located on the fifth floor and are for the scientists and the sixth floor are crews quarters.

Level seven - the Scientific Room

The seventh floor is called the scientific lab and is where you meet most people milling around. This is the area where the seismic data comes onboard and where they can keep an eye on how the equipment is behaving. It is also where the Casino is. And finally we come to the Bridge on the eight floor. Although there is a gym on level 2, running up and down the central stairs is a good way to get some exercise.

You can also get a good virtual tour of the ship from the Ifremer web site by Clicking here. Please be patient while the pictures load, It takes a bit of time here on the ship for each area to show but, that may be because there is a limit to how much of data we can download.

It was on the seventh floor decks which must be a good 15 metres above the sea, where I got my first sighting of dolphins. I am not very good with heights and when I reached the front deck it was very breezy and I was hanging on tightly with one hand while I tried to operate the camera with the other. As I said earlier, it was a nice sunny morning which was great but not much use if you do not have a viewfinder and have to rely on the LCD screen to view what you are shooting while trying to cope with the height, winds and the swell of the sea. So I have yet to get some good footage of the dolphins which I am sure will come back another day.

With the data coming from the Chirp, yesterday’s deployment of the seismic and multibeam, people were busy starting to piece together charts, maps and sedimentary profiles to help decide where best to start taking cores with the carottier (corer). Later tonight it is planned to do some coring and also deploy SCAMPI and sediment grab.

The Scampi

The large corer

The box corer

The Scampi will record black & white video and also coloured images with a digital camera, while the Carottier and the sediment grab will bring up sediment from the sea floor. I am looking forward to see what came in overnight.

There was a bit of excitement today about another event (not scientific), the shop was opened where people could buy sweets, nuts, cigarettes, beer, spirits, etc. There was a steady stream of people coming to queue at the shop door then going away with a smile on their faces as they carried their box of goodies back to their cabins. This only happens once a month for spirits, wine and tobacco. However, other items such as chocolate, crisps and nuts are available at anytime if you speak nicely to the steward and he will open the shop for you.

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