"We started off at 8 am this morning. The captain kindly allowed us on the bridge for the manoeuvres out of port. Both Eduard and I were really keen to take up this opportunity. The ship is of such a modern design is able to turn on a sixpence and we were soon out of port. It was with some trepidation that we left Vigo knowing that we were heading into a Force 7 gale. It wasn’t long before we were bouncing along the waves and our sea legs were well and truly tested. The seasickness pills were doing their job well though and watching the horizon from the bridge certainly helped. It wasn’t long before coffee cups and equipment were flying off the benches as the ship pitched and rolled so everything had to be quickly strapped down. The DP System (direct positioning), using GPS kept us on track. The bridge itself looks like the Star Ship Enterprise with many computer screens tracking our progress. However there was still some paper and pen tracking of our course. A quick venture out on to the deck showed just how windy it was and the horizon was moving up and down as big waves splashed on to the deck. Then we hit a particular bumpy patch and the captain announced to all not to venture out on the decks. It felt very odd to see the last of land for 3 weeks. I can’t imagine what it will be like.
The effects of the motion were catching up with me and so I decided to go and retreat to my cabin. I am getting the hang of the layout of the ship now but what a maze it is - especially when they lock the watertight doors so you have to find a new route. The ship was deserted apart from one or two old hands. Obviously a lot of people had had the same idea.
At 4pm we all met up in the muster stations. We had to don a lifejacket and head off to our designated lifeboats just in case! Which way is "port"? I wish I had learnt my nautical terms before coming on board. So many decks: fore, aft... Anyway, what a learning curve and it is all fascinating. It will take about 48 hours to get to our first sampling area so more excitement to come..."