JC010: Mud volcanoes and submarine canyons


 JC10



Cruise diary


Day 5: Wednesday 6 June 2007
Position: 38° 16.01295N  9° 09.90880W (Setubal Canyon)
Weather: A very foggy but calm start that has cleared to a clear and calm evening


Helen writes:

"I have just seen the most amazing sight. Hundreds of thousands of mackerel doing laps of the ship! They kept coming up to the very surface of the water, and were glistening like jewels in the evening sunshine. It was incredible!

I didn’t get to bed quite as early as I had hoped last night; I went to the lounge with a couple of others, and we ended up doing a music quiz from someone’s laptop – identifying the films that music clips had come from. It turns out that I know a lot about Disney, kids' films and war films (I’ve no idea why!), but I struggled on many others.  Tom, one of the crew knew so many tracks that the rest of us didn’t even recognise! It was remarkable!

So, today has been quite quiet. I was up for my 4am watch, despite the late going to bed, and incredibly came to before the alarm went off!

Work that started during the night to lower an elevator (a type of cage which collects and delivers equipment and samples to the ROV whilst it is working underwater) with some respiration chambers on board was running late as the beacon on the elevator wasn’t being picked up on the ROV. This meant that we had dropped a piece of equipment into the ocean, and could no longer find it! After what I gather was a couple of hours of searching, the beacon was picked up and the equipment tracked down. Next was the hunt for a starfish or other echinoderm to put into the chamber. This hunt went on for 4 hours! As this endless searching was going on in the ROV van, and I was no longer needed, I decided to go back to the Mac and edit the video footage taken over the last couple of days.

I ended up staying at the computer for about 8 hours while I tried to work out what on earth I was doing wrong, why I couldn’t edit or save the film in the way I wanted. Well, I finally managed (with help from Doug Masson, the Chief Scientist), and my biggest problem was obviously that I’d been trying to work out the software at 5 in the morning! All the videos are now clipped and are available for you to see in the video clips gallery.

It’s 6.30 now, and the ROV is on its way up - the experiments having gone successfully, with a starfish being found and its respiration monitored. We have a meeting at 7pm to discuss the plans for the next few days – we’ll be steaming for 12 hours to get to the next site, the Nazaré Canyon, and joyfully I think that means that I don’t have to be awake at 4am!

Keep your questions coming into the site; we’ve got some incredible scientists here!

More tomorrow..."


Virginia writes:

This morning I needed to wash some clothes - we are allowed to use the 'Scientists and Ship’s Laundry', shown in the pictures below. Today I am going to show you also the R.R.S. James Cook kitchen and mess.

The laundry...see also the video clip

The R.R.S. James Cook has a very well organized and modern industrial-like kitchen.

Chef Mark Preston

Chef Wally Link

Abi and Andy enjoying lunch...

...along with the rest of the team

Meal times on board the ship are fixed: Breakfast is at 07.20-08.00, lunch is at 11.20-12.30, and dinner is served between 17.30-18.30. We have a varied menu, which changes each meal. We can choose between a more light or a more high calorie meal.

In the coming days I will show you several pictures of our meals. Between the main meals there are always snacks available in the mess: coffee, tea, milk, juice, yogurts, scones, bread, cookers, butter, jam, etc....I think that I need to do much more exercise in the Gym!"



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