JR224: Chemosynthetic life in the Antarctic


Cruise diary

Friday 23 and Saturday 24 January 2009
Location: Southern Ocean (55º30.00'S – 33º30.00'W)

Hove to: storm in the Southern Ocean...

Yesterday we were hit by strong seas and wind and since then our quest for hydrothermal vents had to be temporarily stopped. During the night we all felt the waves breaking against the ship walls but it was only this morning that we saw the ultimate proof: a wave chart for South Atlantic showing that we are having the highest waves in this part of the world, up to 48 feet (15 m) high! With this kind of weather, the only thing that we could do was hove to and wait for it to calm down...

In the morning the weather conditions improved and because the strong winds (we had up to 60 knots winds!) made us drift about 60 miles we now have to sail back to our working area before we can start deploying instruments. In the meanwhile we have started to interpret the data collected with BRIDGET and have more and more clues to where to look for vents.

Left: photos of the waves breaking over SHRIMP on the starboard deck,
taken by Alex R. from the winch room.

Below left: chart showing the hight of waves during the storm...the JCR was in the middle of it, in the dark red in the chart...which means 12 m high waves! From: https://www.fnmoc.navy.mil/public.

Below right: Track chart of the JCR progress until 24 Jan.


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