CD 157: Investigating the submarine canyons offshore Portugal


Daily diary

Thursday 27th May 2004

Weather: UK am, dull with a bit of drizzle
Tenerife pm, sunny, breezy, warm 24oC [Wish you were here!]

Main achievement

Getting all of the scientific and technician crew on board the ship without any major problems. This is undoubtedly due to a lot of organising by the people back at the RSU (Research Ship Unit - the guys who look after the ships). Thank you.


Following a smooth take off, during which we saw a grounded Concorde, we flew over Twickenham, the HQ of English rugby, and then over Southampton where SOC is based. We gave a cheerful wave to everyone there and to the folk hard at work in both Wyvern Technology College and Arnewood. Much to Sara's pleasure, we flew over her homeland, the Basque country [more waves] and then to Madrid, home of Elena [even more waves]. By now our arms were quite tired as we had been flying for two hours but we made our connection with time to spare.

Distant views of the Canary Islands as the plane approaches Tenerife

Just as everything was going smoothly, our plane reversed into a set of ladders immediately prior to take off. Fortunately, only a tail light was broken, but it took an hour to fix!
On arrival in Tenerife our taxi ride to meet the ship gave us a distant view of the volcano Pico del Tiede, significant because there is currently seismic activity in this area. Nearing the port we caught a glimpse of the yellow funnel only to arrive in the harbour to find the luxury cruise liner Oriana, nestling snugly behind the Charles Darwin.

RRS Charles Darwin in Santa Cruz harbour (Tenerife), somewhat dwarfed by the cruise liner Oriana!

For relaxation the scientists and the technicians went ashore for a refreshing meal prior to turning in for the night.

Biggest sacrifice

Ian turning down an offer of an upgrade to Business Class.

Biggest surprise

Dan [Now known as Desperate Dan!] being turned out of his hotel bed the previous night by the police to find the whole hotel surrounded by even more policemen. He was under suspicion of being a terrorist as his passport number was being used by someone all over the place.


What a great day. Elena and I are really excited about sharing this voyage with all the other people on board. We are just beginning to appreciate our good fortune.

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October 2003
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