Thursday, 18 April 2013

Stormy Weather!

Guess where our study site is? I'll give you a clue - it's under where the red bit's going

Well, it’s been five days at sea now, and so far we’ve spent most of that time steaming towards our survey site at the Porcupine Abyssal Plain (PAP) and then bravely running away again! In fairness, the forecast has had Force 11s right over where we want to be working and since those are neither comfortable nor safe conditions to be attempting to launch and recover hundreds of kilos of equipment in, we opted to pick up a monitoring buoy from a nearby site instead and then try and sneak back to our survey site around the back of the weather. The headwinds mean we can only do around 4 knots at the moment (about walking pace) so it’s looking like it’ll be Friday before we can start work at the PAP properly – keep your fingers crossed that we manage to get the fishing gear in the water before we have to come home again!

It's always good value when the sea is actively trying to get in your cabin!
The sun came out today so I took a break from working on PhD stuff in my cabin to try and take a few photos of the gales we’re trying to push through. I’ve got a few videos which show the size of the swell a lot better, but with the restricted internet you’re not going to get to see those until we get back to land! Still, at least we’re not out here in a sailing ship...

A square-rigger we passed yesterday evening. Anyone know what it might be?

Other than occasionally popping outside to admire the weather, I’ve been working on some of the photos from last year’s cruise to the PAP site when we had the AUV with us, and there are some pretty cool images of the fish:

Abyssal fish from last year's cruise - hopefully we'll get to see a few for real when we start fishing

With a bit of luck we’ll get to see a few of these in the flesh if we manage to get the fishing nets in the water this week!