BobGeo 2009. Day 12 – What happened to the storm?

Sunday 25th October

The storm that everyone was talking about yesterday never seemed to materialise, instead today was a beautiful day. I even ended up sunbathing on the foredeck. Scampi and Calypso are deployed possibly for the last time this cruise.

After the clocks changed last night I was nice to wake in daylight this morning to what turned out to be a beautiful sunny day with no sign of the storm that people were speaking about yesterday. After Sunday lunch I even managed to get a bit of sunbathing done.

Relaxing on the fore deck in the sun

Scampi was deployed for the final time on this cruise last night. Unfortunately there was no sign of these elusive corals unlike Thursday night’s deployment. Some of the images sent back showed signs of what appeared to be fast currents which was indicated by the ripples of the sandy sea floor.

One of the images from Thursday's scampi dive

These ripples indicate currents across the sea floor

No corals but some fish and a crab spotted (this image is cropped from a larger one)

Calypso was deployed at around 2.00am this morning and brought back a core of around 15m.

Mickael in his room busy measuring last nights core sections

In the morning I found Mickael Rovere, a Technician with Ifremer, busy measuring the physical attributes of each 1m section of the core. He measures, a) length, b) width, c) the speed that sound travels through the width of the core, d) the electrical resistance, e)the magnetic susceptibility and f) the temperature. Measurements b, c, d, and e are taken every centimetre along each 1m section of the core.

Cutting the liner

After Mickael has done his bit the sections are take through into the lab where they are then sliced in half length ways using a special piece of equipment which only cuts through the plastic liner.

The green arrows point to the small circular saw blades and the red arrows point to the sharp blades which do the final cut of the liner.

After they have been through the saw the cores are then sliced in half and stored for further analysis.


This job is usually shared by lots of the sedimentologists and geologists. In the morning shift we had Michel Cremer and David Menier slicing and packing the sections.


In the afternoon Sebastien Zaragozi, Pascal le Roy and Alexandre Dubois did their share of slicing and packing.




After my visit to the lab to see the core sections being processed I went back to my cabin to have a quick look at my Email. I had a message from my daughter to say that she had been watching the videos on YouTube and the one of the sea scenes where I had filmed the swell made her a bit dizzy. I was just replying to her when there was a knock on my cabin door. It was Thierry to tell me that there was about to be a tour of decks one and two where the engines and all the other bits of equipment that keep the Pourquoi pas? running are, and did I want to come. My daughter had to wait for her reply as I was off like a shot.


When we reached level two Pierre, who is one of the ships engineers, was waiting for us.

He started of by showing us the three bow thrusters before taking us through the rest of the areas. There was so much to see and photograph, I could have filled this blog with all the photographs.

Instead I have just shown the two below of the engines and the two shafts which propel the ship.

The four diesel engines that drive the generators to make the electricity that powers the propeller shafts

I will create a video with some film and the rest of the pictures that I took and put it on YouTube.

One of the two propeller shafts

It turns out that today is actually Benoit Loubrieu’s birthday and he has set a bit of a record; it is the sixth time that he as celebrated his birthday while on a research cruise. It seems that I am not the only reporter on board judging by the article below.

Congratulations Benoit

Tomorrow I hope to feature some of the crew without whom the ship would not function.

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