Sunday, 22 May 2011

In the thick of it

Just a quick post just to say we are in the storm and it's rather fun as the sights are beautiful, I am not seasick and the captain seemed unphased yet sensible and competent when I went to visit the bridge. We have been ordered to stop work and batten our porthole covers so I sanpped a few pictures before battening mine. The sea is looking a little wild but the true force of it is much easier to feel than to see. The pitch and roll is now of the sort that you should time your transit through corridors and up stairs. The gravity changes so much, sometime you feel you are trying to heave yourself up with your arms, others you are flying and lighter than you were 10 years ago.

While we ride out the storm we are also worrying about the current task at hand: autosub was deployed last night and now the sea is too rough to retrieve it. Currently we are essentially chaperoning it about the atlantic, guarding it from other ships and trying to not run into it ourselves. We are just waiting for workable seas again in order to haul it back on board- this could be interesting!

My shift today included only one successful task and that was a quarter size box core. Apart from that the ROV stopped feeding video on the way down so has been hauled for repairs, 2 further box cores failed and by the time we had got the piston core ready the wind was at 40knots and the captain shut down all operations. So much for trying to have a prodctive weather window. Not to mention the main thing the night shift suceeded in (the launch of autosub) is now what we are chasing around the north Atlantic.

Fingers crossed tomorrow gets better (which would be at odds with the 70mph winds forecast on the news today, but we shan't mention that... ;) ).

Here are a couple of pix to entertain you.

The massive bridge (With the 3rd mate Euan, who funnily enough was born and brought up in morningside, Edinburgh too; the captain/ master/"old man" on the chair beside him; Doug the sedimentologist from Aberdeen standing behind them; and Malcom the 1st Mate at the chart table behind). I went up here to stare at the sea- they have plenty of space for visitors, provided their attention is not too taken up with something difficult, and as we had shut out port hole covers it afforded a great view over the surrounding wild seas which I could no longer stare at from my cabin.
The waves are pretty intimidating from the waterline. Time to shut those hatches.
As the sun was setting and casting lovely light over the wild seas, I risked a snap through my porthole and just happend to catch a nice moment when a fulmar flew over the crest of a wave. You would not believe how many birds are following us, there must be hundreds you can see from the bridge wheeling behind and alongside, looking a lot more shaky and strained in their flying (unless they are flying with the wind at their backs, then they are 50mph bullet birds!).

Ok, as my only symptom of seasickness I must stop now as looking at text is sending my eyes all funny. More soon I promise.


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