Day 6: Saturday 10 March - Passage to sampling area
Position at midnight: 18º40N, 37º04W
The main task for this morning was to test the rock drill operated by the British Geological Survey (BGS) team (Dave, Davie, Iain and Mike). This involved stopping the ship and lowering the drill into the water until it was submerged under 20m of water. The BGS team checked that the pumps and the communication system were operating correctly, both of which worked fine. The ship was back on course again within 2 hours.
At our afternoon seminar the issue of the watches was raised and it was suggested that the current system of 12 on - 12 hours off was causing some of the team to miss too many meals. After much discussion we decided to change to a 4hrs on-8hrs off watch pattern with Roger, Chris MacLeod and myself on watch 8-12, Jack, Sam and Chris Mallows on 12-4 and Bram and Kay 4-8.
During the evening the crew hosted a barbeque on the aft deck for everyone on board. Despite Sam being left in charge of the BBQ for 5 minutes and cremating the first batch of burgers, the evening was very enjoyable and made a nice break into the (never-ending?!) passage to the sampling area.
Unluckily for the 12midnight -4am shift the clocks went back again to GMT-3 and they had to endure another hour to their shift!